BFSA to host student oratory competition for Black History Month

Participants asked to relate one of three quotes to their personal experiences and demonstrate its relevance to the future

Johns Hopkins University's Black Faculty and Staff Association will host the first Black History Month Student Oratory Competition on Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Arellano Theater at 5 p.m.

The show will feature nine original student oratories inspired by one of the following quotes:

  • "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." – Martin Luther King Jr.

  • "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." – Barack Obama.

  • "We should always have three friends in our lives—one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we've cleared the way." – Michelle Obama.

Student participants are asked to relate one of the three quotes to their personal experiences and struggles and demonstrate its relevance to the future, said Lynnise Norris, chair of BFSA's Access and Equity Committee.

"I think it's a great opportunity for the students to be creative, motivational, and inspirational, and communicate a message of hope for the future," Norris said.

First-, second-, and third-place winners will receive a monetary prize.

Siri Tummala, a first-year economics major on a pre-med track, said she plans to give a speech inspired by former First Lady Michelle Obama's quote.

"I believe it is a good event to honor Black History Month, as students will get the chance to present their ideas on a quote from a prominent African-American figure," Tummula said. "My love for public speaking motivated me to participate because I felt it would be a great opportunity."

Free tickets are available via Eventbrite.