January: Martin Luther King Jr.

On January 15th we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the world's greatest public speakers, civil rights leaders, and leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. Martin Luther King Jr. was also the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for dedicating his life to combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance.

Topic: What does Martin Luther King Jr. mean to you?

“The time is always right to do what is right.”  - Martin Luther King Jr. 

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King Jr. 

"History will have to record the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." - Martin Luther King Jr. 

"Life's most persistent and urgent question, 'What are you doing for others?'" - Martin Luther King Jr. 

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King Jr. 

"The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice." - Martin Luther King Jr. 

Deadline: January 31st

Each of our tournaments will kick off on the 1st of each month and end on the last day of each month. Students have a month to prepare and submit a speech. Please submit all entries by the end of day. Unfortunately, we cannot accept late entries for fairness to all participants. 

Original Oratory Tournament

Students record and submit a 1-5 minute video speech delivering an original speech on the monthly topic. Please review our guidelines and judging rubric. Students can participate in both Tournaments of Original Oratory and Speechwriting. 

Speechwriting Tournament

Students submit a written speech on the monthly topic. Elementary students should submit a 200-500 word count speech. Middle School, High School and College should submit a 500-1000 word count speech. Students can participate in both Tournaments of Original Oratory and Speechwriting. 

Awards

Everyone is a Winner: The #1 fear of the majority of adults is public speaking. So whether you participate in one of our tournaments, or our tournaments every month - you are already a winner and developing lifelong skills. Public Speaking is one of the most powerful superpowers in the world! 

Certificates of Participation: Online Certificates of Participation for all students.

Medals, Ribbons, Trophies. Ribbons, Medals and Trophies are awarded and mailed to the top winners of each division. Divisions include: Elementary School Division, Middle School Division, High School Division, and Collegiate Division. *Please note because of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine rules, we estimate we will be mailing out awards this summer (July/August). *

School Sweepstakes Awards: Trophies and/or medals are awarded to the schools with the most entries.  The First Place School in addition to their Sweepstakes Award will win a $100 Pizza Party Gift for their Great Debaters and Teachers!

Public Showcase. Top awardees will be featured on our website, social media, and e-newsletters.

* Please note that because this is a free program, we reserve the right at any time to change or cancel any events, awards, certificates. If the number of entries exceeds our volunteer and judge capacity, we reserve the right to limit the number of entries. Additionally, we are not responsible for any lost awards, ribbons, medals, trophies, gift cards, etc. Please understand as a free program managed by volunteers, we reserve the right at anytime to change or cancel any part of our program. And please share with us any feedback so that we can improve our program.

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2020 NYC Elementary School Speech & Debate League