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February 2024 Oratorical Competition.png

4th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Competition

Theme: "It Starts With Me: Addressing the Social and Political Climate

Through King's Practice of Nonviolence"

Thank you for your interest in the 4th Annual Xi Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha 
Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Competition. 
This event will take place on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at 1 p.m.

This event will  take place at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church’s Family Life Center

(7396 Rivers Ave, North Charleston, SC 29406).  

Competition Guidelines 

The contest guidelines and instructions are provided for your convenience.  
I. Registration  

The application can be found on the website, The deadline for submission of the application is Friday, January 26, 2024. 
II. Requirements for Eligibility  

A. Students must be enrolled in public or private schools within Berkeley County, Charleston County, and Dorchester District 2 and 4 School Districts.  

B. Students/contestants must be in middle or high school.  

C. The speech must show creativity and originality and pertain to the theme provided. 

D. ONE typewritten copy of each contestant’s speech must be submitted online to Xi Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The deadline to have typewritten copies of speeches submitted is Friday, January 26, 2024. 

E. The Xi Phi Lambda Oratorical Competition Committee will select the top three middle school and top three high school typewritten submissions that will be orally presented on February 3, 2024. Contestants will be notified of their participation in the contest by January 5, 2024.

III. Topics for Speeches 

Generally, all Contestants must adhere to the theme. Contestants must incorporate the use of the exact words of the theme and/or emphasis; however, it is also permissible to additionally use a sub-topic that is closely related to the theme. A contestant will be disqualified if his/her speech is totally unrelated to the theme. The theme is “It Starts with Me: Addressing the Social and Political Climate Through King’s Practice of Nonviolence.” 
IV. Time Limit 

A. Each contestant should limit his or her speech to a minimum of three minutes (or fractions thereof) and to a maximum of five minutes. If a Contestant speaks fewer than three minutes or more than five minutes, they will be penalized by the judges. Ten points will be subtracted from the Contestants’ total score for each 
minute (or fraction thereof) he or she speaks under or over time. 
B. Timekeeping Judges will time the presentations. 
V. Judges 
A. The content will be judged by a group of three judges. A Panel consisting of three persons will serve as Content Judges. The Content Judges will be responsible for rating the participants’ overall performance. A panel of a maximum of two persons will serve as Timekeeping Judges. The Timekeeping Judges will be responsible for the assessment of penalties and for timing the presentation. 
B. The content judges will be persons professionally trained and/or knowledgeable in speech, oratory, composition, and the performing arts, and not members of the Xi Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Timekeepers may be members of the Chapter. 
C. A panel of a maximum of two persons will serve as Statistician Judges. The Statistician Judges will tally the score sheets to determine the final ratings of the Contestants. 
D. The maximum number of points a contestant can earn is 110. He or she cannot receive more than 10 points from each item on which the judge or rater evaluates him or her. 
E. Each Contestant will be introduced according to number. The Contestants should not identify themselves nor give any indication of their school. 
F. There will be no ties. In the event of a tie, the judges will make a final decision. 
VI. Evaluations and Selection of Winners 

A. Each contestant will receive a participant award. 

B. Three contestants from the middle school contestants and high school contestants will be chosen as winners and will receive monetary awards. The first-place winner will receive $300; the second-place winner will receive $200; and the third-place winner will receive $100.

Congratulations to Our Past Winners

3rd Annual Competition

February 20, 2023

1st Place - Lylah Goldsmith (Hanahan Middle School)

2nd Place - Olivia Montagna (Rollings Middle School of the Arts)

3rd Place - Paris Lary (Rollings Middle School of the Arts)

Thank you again to Raphael James Live 5 News for serving as host!


2nd Annual Competition

February 21, 2022

1st Place - Jeshawn Green - (River Oaks Middle School)

2nd Place - Jaquez Washington - (Military Magnet Academy)

3rd Place - Trent Tribble - (Military Magnet Academy)

Thank you again to Amaris Jenkins WCBD News 2 for serving as host!


1st Annual Competition

February 15, 2021

1st Place - Nia James - (Rollings Middle School of the Arts)

2nd Place - Meghan Wells - (Rollings Middle School of the Arts)

3rd Place - Bella Adore Williams - (Charleston County School of the Arts)

Thank you again to Kris Kaylin - Radio Personality for serving as host!

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