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2020 MLK Oratorial Contest

The Office of Student Life invites submissions from all CBU students for the 2020 MLK Oratorical Contest to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Participant Selection and Competition Structure

  • Participants must submit a 3-5 minute audition video speech on the following topic: According to Dr. King, “an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” What is the meaning of this quote, and how does this principle relate to CBU’s mission of faith, service, and community?

  • DEADLINE: Upload your video to YouTube and email the video link to Karen Barnett ( and Mary McConner ( by noon on Friday, February 21, 2020. All video submissions will be reviewed.

  • Participants who are selected to move forward and present their speeches live in the contest will be notified on Monday, February 24th. The Oratorical Contest with the selected live speeches will take place on Wednesday, February 26th in Spain Auditorium.

  • The competition winners will be selected by a panel of four judges (CBU faculty and staff) during the contest on February 26Oral presentations will be assessed according to six categories: Content, Quality, Style, Persuasiveness, Organization, and Creativity. The decision of the panel is final.

Competition Rules

The oral presentation must be a minimum of three minutes and a maximum of five minutes. If the oral presentation does not meet the minimum or maximum timeframe, points will be deducted.


  • First Place Winner: $500
  • Second Place Winner: $250
  • Third Place Winner: $150

Please contact Karen Barnett at and Dr. Mary McConner at if you have any questions.