“Word from the Mountain Top” Oratory Contest provides local students chance to get their voices heard

Local students can honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by submitting an original speech for the “Word from the Mountain Top” competition today.
Written by: Tehreem Khan
Media contact: Yvonne Taunton

MT.2The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is accepting submissions for the fourth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Word from the Mountain Top” Oratory Contest.

Local high school and two-year and four-year college students will have the opportunity to honor King’s legacy by reflecting on his words and connecting his message to issues facing the nation in the 21st century.

Students will gather inspiration from King’s “A Time to Break Silence” speech and are asked to identify a social problem that requires systemic change, explain why this topic is important, and provide a plan for addressing this issue to improve the lives of others.

UAB Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Paulette Patterson Dilworth, Ph.D., said, “Our goal is to challenge students’ thinking about the impact of King’s words and his mission, and have them consider how his ideologies might have shaped the world as we know it today.”

The top three written speeches from each division, high school and college, will be ranked as finalists, and their writers will be invited to participate in the oratorical portion of the competition. Prizes will be awarded to all finalists, and a monetary grand prize will be given to the overall winner from each division at the finalist competition, to be held virtually on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021.

Other competition sponsors include UAB Student Diversity and Multicultural Programs, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Urban Impact Inc., United Way of Central Alabama and the City of Birmingham.

The deadline to submit speeches is 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 20. For more information, visit www.uab.edu/dei/.