Listen to this article here
The Black Wall Street Times

Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Timesdaily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.

Oratorical Contest Winners-3
 MLK Oratorical contest winners are as follows (left to right):  Kaiden Ivey, sophomore, 3rd Place; Joseph Terrell, sophomore, 1st Place; and Haley Aziere, senior, 2nd Place, all attending Union High School. 

Published 01/14/2020 | Reading Time 2 min 56 sec 

TULSA, Okla. – The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Society will recognize Tulsa-area students who won art, dance, essay and oratorical contests at a special Student Award Ceremony to take place this Friday, January 17, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, 1301 S. Boston Ave. The contest winners will receive awards and several students will perform in celebration of Dr. King’s legacy of unity, justice and love. The contests are part of a weeklong series of activities that culminate in the Tulsa MLK Parade that will take place on January 20, 2020. This year marks the 41st Anniversary of the parade, with the theme “20/20 Vision: The Dream Seen Clearly.”

[do_widget id=wordads_sidebar_widget-22]

Student contest winners are as follows: 

  • Youth Art Contest: Students in grades K-6 were asked to create an illustration based on one of three themes that characterizes Dr. King’s life and work – Love, Peace or Unity – and what the theme means to them. All three winning drawings are showcased in the 2020 MLK Souvenir Book.  

o   1st Place ($175):  Rosaura Flores, 6th grade, McKinley Elementary;

o   2nd Place ($125):  Maria Vasquez, 5th grade, Eugene Field Elementary; and

o   3rd Place ($75):  Andrew Fraley, 6th grade, McKinley Elementary.

  • Interpretive Dance of Peace Contest: Individuals and team ensembles (ages 18 and younger) were encouraged to create and perform an interpretive dance with the theme of “Peace.” Dancers were judged based on accuracy, showmanship, choreography and performance. All will perform their winning dance number at the Student Award Ceremony. Winners are as follows: 

o   1st Place ($500):  Kaiden Ivey, 10th grade, Union High School; and

o   2nd Place ($350):  Malise Washington and Dmari Maxville, 6th-grade students, Monroe Demonstration Academy.

[do_widget id=wordads_sidebar_widget-22]

  • Essay Contest: Middle school students (grades 6-8) were asked to write a 350-500 word essay on the topic, “I live my life as a reflection of Dr. King’s dream by . . .”  Essays were judged based on originality/creativity, clarity, use of facts or specific examples and other criteria. Their essays are published in the 2020 MLK Souvenir Book.  Prizes were awarded as follows: 

o   1st Place ($225):  Jesus Ayvar-Lopez, 6th grade, McKinley Elementary;

o   2nd Place ($175):  Miguel Alcocer, 6th grade, McKinley Elementary; and

o   3rd Place ($150):  Roberto Martinez, 6th grade, McKinley Elementary.

  • Oratorical Contest:  High school students (grades 9-12) were asked to memorize Dr. King’s iconic “I have a dream” speech for a chance to showcase their oratorical skills. Contestants were judged on clarity, quality, delivery, stage presence and memorization skills. Prizes were awarded to the following:

o   1st Place ($500):  Joseph Terrell, 10th grade, Union High School;

o   2nd Place ($350):  Haley Aziere, 12th grade, Union High School; and

o   3rd Place ($250):  Kaiden Ivey, 10th grade, Union High School. 

[do_widget id=wordads_sidebar_widget-22]

Terrell, the 1st Place winner, will perform Dr. King’s speech at the Sunday Interfaith Community Commemorative Service that takes place Sunday, January 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church. The 2nd Place winner, Haley Aziere, will present the speech at the Student Award Ceremony. ONE Gas is the official sponsor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest.

Sponsors of the Student Award Ceremony include PepsiCo, ONE Gas and Boston Avenue United Methodist Church.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Society, Inc. is a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based   501(c) (3) nonprofit organization focused on honoring and preserving the works and ideals that Dr. King practiced. The society has provided programming, leadership development, civic engagement and opportunities for artistic expression involving more than 20,000 boys and girls in Tulsa County and the surrounding area since it was founded in 1978. The Society has awarded $80,000 in scholarships over the past three decades to local high school graduates aspiring to achieve Dr. King’s dream.

Each year, over 100 entries participate in the Tulsa MLK Parade with themed floats, music and marchers. Thousands of people attend the parade that begins at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and John Hope Franklin and meanders through historic Greenwood Avenue to Archer. The parade begins at 11 a.m. and will be televised live on KTUL – News Channel 8.  

For parade information, visit, call 918-492-9495 or email at

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...