They have a dream: Eight Dallas ISD students advance to finals of MLK Jr. Oratory Competition


Eight outstanding young public speakers from Dallas ISD have advanced to the finals of the MLK Jr. Oratory Competition.

Their performances can be watched live starting at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17, by clicking on this livestream link.

Foley Gardere designed the annual oratory competition to recognize and encourage the writing and oratory skills of elementary students. Established in Dallas in 1993 and Houston in 1997, the competition serves as a celebration of cultural diversity and opportunity to spotlight talented Dallas ISD students as they learn about Dr. King.

Fourth- and fifth-grade elementary students composed their own original three-to-five minute speeches incorporating ideals from King’s writings, speeches and other records to answer the competition’s theme question, “What would Dr. King’s vision be for America in 2020?”

The Dallas ISD finalists are:

  • Jasira King, fifth-grader from William Brown Miller Elementary School
  • Kyla Combs, fourth-grader from Charles Rice Learning Center
  • Dinastee McKinney, fourth-grader from Clara Oliver Elementary School
  • Ayanna Gee, fifth-grader from John Neely Bryan Elementary School
  • Colin Harris, fifth-grader from J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard
  • James Johnson III, fifth-grader from Thomas L. Marsalis Elementary School
  • Dominic Patermo, fourth-grade from Harry C. Withers Elementary School
  • Micah Wilson, fourth-grader from Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center

The students will compete in the finals on Jan. 17 at W.H. Adamson High School


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