March: Women's History Month and International Women's Day

(March 8th)

In March we celebrate Women's History Month and International Women's Day (March 8th). According to the United Nations:

 

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved gender equality. Fifty years ago, we landed on the moon; in the last decade, we discovered new human ancestors and photographed a black hole for the first time. In the meantime, legal restrictions have kept 2.7 billion women from accessing the same choice of jobs as men. Less than 25 per cent of parliamentarians were women, as of 2019. One in three women experience gender-based violence, still."

And so our topic for March is to honor Women's History Month and International Women's Day with our speeches and voices and advocacy so that we can continue the movement for complete gender equality.

This month you have your choice between an issue or a person relating to International Women's Day:

Topic #1 - Select an issue that face women presently or in the past. Why did you select that issue? Why is it important? What is being done about it? What would you do about it?

OR

Topic #2 - Select a woman of the present or past who has made a difference on you or society. Why did you select this person? Why is she important? What did she do?  What can we learn from her?

“Knowing what must be done does away with fear.” - Rosa Parks

“I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world.” –Malala

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” - Helen Keller

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” –Michelle Obama

“Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” - Oprah Winfrey

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” - Jane Goodall

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” –Eleanor Roosevelt 

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” - Mother Teresa

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” - Maya Angelou

“No one changes the world who isn’t obsessed.” - Billie Jean King

“If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” - Margaret Thatcher

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” - J.K. Rowling

Deadline: March 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 Division 

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 Tournaments of Original Oratory and Speechwriting. 

Speechwriting Division

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