July: Nelson Mandela
International Day (July 18th)
Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela's birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009. United Nations Resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes "Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in: conflict resolution; race relations; promotion and protection of human rights; reconciliation; gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups; the fight against poverty; the promotion of social justice. The resolution acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world."
Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact. The Mandela Day campaign message is: "Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We're asking you to start with 67 minutes." "We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity."
And so this month to celebrate the power of one individual to change the world, we ask you to select one problem in the world and what would be your solution:
Topic Choice 1 : Select any problem in the world. What would be your solution? And/or what are you doing about that problem now?
Topic Choice #2: What does Nelson Mandela mean to you?
"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived; it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." - Nelson Mandela
"Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again." - Nelson Mandela
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" - Nelson Mandela
"There can be no greater gift than that of giving one's time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return." - Nelson Mandela
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. - Nelson Mandela
Deadline: July 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 before submitting. Students can participate in both Original Oratory and Speechwriting.
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 events of Original Oratory and Speechwriting.
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.