Oratorical Festival Approaches

The theme of this years 16th Oakland International Film Festival is MLK 50. Representing, this coming April 4th, 2018 marking 50 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In Jan/Feb of 1967, Dr. King wrote his last book “Where Do We Go From Here:” Chaos or Community?
For 38 years, Oakland Unified School District has hosted an annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Oratorical Festival.
The Oakland Film Society has partnered with The 39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Festival to repeat Dr. King’s question: “Where Do We Go From Here”?
See below details about The 39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Festival.

Dates Are Set For District-wide Competitions and Finals
Winter Break is just weeks away and that means one of OUSD’s most popular events is not far behind. The 39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Festival begins in January. This year’s theme is Where Do We Go From Here?: Continuing the Legacy 50 Years Later. Now is the time for students to get their presentations ready.

Here is some important history. 39 years ago, the founder of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Oratorical Festival, Donald Oliver, had a vision.  He wanted to showcase students’ oratorical skills and he wanted to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..  He felt that testing/reading score data did not truly lift up students’ comprehension and fluency skills and abilities. But he knew that delivering an oration was an academic exercise that required students to read and comprehend complex text in order to analyze, synthesize, interpret, critique and present or perform that text (creating a new form through performance) in a competition in public speaking.

This brings us to the 39th Annual OUSD Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Festival in which schools at all grade levels across Oakland have an opportunity to bring Donald Oliver’s vision to their students. Below is information about grade level divisions and the Oratorical Festival categories. Please pass this information along to your staff and students.

Grade Level Divisions:

  • Prekindergarten-2nd grades
  • 3rd-5th grades
  • 6th-8th grades
  • 9th-12th grades
  • Individual Performer – 1 Performer on Stage
    • Poetry – Published Poetry (3 min)
    • Poetry – Original Poetry (poet performing poem they wrote, 3 min)
    • Speech – Famous & Not So Famous – (3 min)
  • Two or More Performers on Stage  Chorals/Scenes
    • Poetry – Published (up to 5 min)
    • Poetry – Original (written by the performing poets, (up to 5 min)
    • Speech – Famous & Not So Famous (up to 5 min)
    • Drama – Published & Devised (up to 5 min)
  Tuesday, 1/9/18
CLOSES: 3:00 p.m. 1/18/18 (for 1/23 schools A-J)
3:00 p.m. 1/24/18 (for 1/30 schools K-Z)
3:00 p.m. 1/31/18 (for 2/6 secondary schools)

                 Tuesday, 1/23, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Elementary Schools A-J

Tuesday, 1/30, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Elementary Schools K-Z

Tuesday, 2/6, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Secondary schools

                 Sunday, 2/11, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

* All District-wide and Finals competitions take place at Castlemont High School at 8601 MacArthur Blvd in Oakland.

For more information, please go to www.ousd.org/mlkoratorical.