“If You Could Talk to Martin Luther King, Jr., What Would You Tell Him?”

HISD Students “talk” to Dr. King in an oratory competition on January 18th

The 17th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition will take place at the historic Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ in Downtown Houston on Friday, Jan. 18. Paying tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, fourth- and fifth-grade students will compose and present original speeches, not to exceed five minutes, addressing the topic: “If you could talk directly to Dr. King about your dream for our future, what would you tell him?” More than 240 students representing 24 Houston ISD schools participated in the school-wide competitions held Oct. 22 – Nov. 6, where one student from each participating school was selected to advance to the preliminary round to be held on Jan. 11 at Thompson Elementary School. At the preliminary, 12 finalists will earn a spot in the final competition, with one winning overall.  Throughout all stages of the competition, students are judged on delivery, stage presence and decorum, content interpretation, and memorization. The event is free and open to the public.

Presented, hosted and sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, the 2013 competition includes participants from the following elementary schools: Anderson, Atherton, Bruce, Burrus, Cornelius, Crespo, Dodson, Garden Villas, Golfcrest, Gregg, Gross, Lockhart, MacGregor, Park Place, Pleasantville, Port Houston, Rodriguez, Sutton, Thompson, Valley West, Wainwright, Whidby, Windsor Village and Woodson.

About the Competition

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP will host the 17th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day to encourage the community to remember and pay tribute to the late civil rights leader’s legacy. The firm established the competition in Dallas in 1993 to highlight the cultural diversity of the community while recognizing and encouraging the writing and speaking skills of elementary school students. Due to its success, the competition was expanded to Houston in 1997 and later launched in Austin through the Austin Heritage Council, with support provided by Gardere. 


17th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ
500 Clay Street, Houston, TX 77002

Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.