Oratory Contest

Martin Luther King Memorial Cherry Blossoms Evening Washington

Application for the 5th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Oratorical & Spoken Word Contest
February 21, 2017

The King’s Dream Committee would like to invite you to participate in its 5th Annual Oratorical and Spoken Word Contest honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The contest is open to all La Salle students as well as local High School Students.  The event will take place on Thursday, February 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm in La Salle Founders Hall (Business School) Auditorium, located on the first level.

Theme & Prompt:

  • This year’s theme is “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way…” 

We have chosen this quote as a statement of hope in the midst of a complicated and dark time.  Few, if any of us will do great things, but each of us can create a new future, a different future by continuing to do the small things that the community of La Salle University is so well known for in “great ways.”  We invite you to take this challenge seriously and to be a source of light and hope for ourselves, for our neighborhood, our city, our country and the world.

How do we engage in the democracy that is our right and responsibility as citizens? How do we as Lasallians, men and women imbued with a Spirit of Faith use our faith in the way that we are challenged to by Dr. King: “With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.” (King, August 28th, 1963)

How do we empower and challenge others today to listen and lead as Dr. King might have us to do and to aspire to be a servant leader?

Thinking of the theme stated above, it in essence relates to King’s sermon, The Drum Major Instinct.  It illustrates our theme by demonstrating how to accomplish greatness through bold humility.  In preparation of your piece, you may want to listen to the YouTube audio recording of the above sermon. Then, allow the sermon to inform one’s presentation as they are inspired.  The speech may be found at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBiFnDuCJIU)

Application Guidelines:

We are allowing participants to submit an oratorical speech or a spoken word piece. All speeches or spoken word pieces must incorporate the theme and will be limited to four (4) minutes. Your submission can focus on today’s civil right movement, current events, and other social justice issues in the World, United States, or at La Salle University. Submissions may relate to Dr. King’s achievements and philosophy of non-violent opposition to social injustice, as well as other related issues, such as religion, race, class, gender, age, sexual orientation and ability.

If you wish to enter the Oratorical/Spoken Word Contest, please complete the application online before MONDAY February 6, 2017 @ 9:00 AM.  For those selected from the paper screen, auditions dates will be February 14, 2017 and February 15, 2017.

GRAND PRIZE for Oratory and Spoken Word components

Please contact TiRease Holmes at holmest@lasalle.edu if you have additional questions about the application process or event.


  • 2/6/17 @ 9:00 am: APPLICATION DEADLINE
  • 2/9/17: Contestants moving on in the process invited to Audition
  • 2/14/17 & 2/15/17: Audition dates for those invited after paper screening
  • 2/21/17 @ 6:30 pm: MLK Oratorical and Spoken Word Contest
  • 2/22/17 @ 3:00 pm: Explorer Café:  Holroyd Atrium