Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Contest


Thank you to all the students who took part in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech contest finals. We applaud you for your hard work and we are inspired by your vision to interpret the theme of the 2022 speech contest, “Working toward a world of peace.” Congratulations to all the participants:

Grades K-2 Ashe Henry – Lowell Elementary School
Rosalie Pakalske-Buchanan – Craig Montessori School
Ariah Shanklin – Forest Home Avenue School
Grades 3-4 Helen Argeropoulos – Golda Meir Lower Campus
Alimah Ayinlah – Eastbrook Academy
Raymond Mitchell – Forest Home Avenue School
Priscilia Nsau – Lowell Elementary School
Grace Wierer – Craig Montessori School
Grades 5-6 Lialy Echevarria – Parkside School for the Arts
Christian Lara – Lowell Elementary School
Kingston Pearson-Lockett – Samuel Clemens Elementary School
Adenike Precious Olowu – Golda Meir Upper Campus
Jeshuan Rivera – Forest Home Avenue School
Grades 7-8 Marceana Akins – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary
Praise Ayodabo – Eastbrook Academy
Layla Mohamed – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary
Noor Aishah Nabi Hussain – Victory School
Kayle Phillips – Golda Meir Upper Campus
Grades 9-10 Harmony Allen – Riverside University High School
Brinya Baker – Eastbrook Academy
Chanerion Mike – Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education
Grades 11-12 Malcolm Bishop – Vincent High School
Annika Burton – Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education
Brandon Gorton – Ronald Reagan IB High School
Chai McCrary – Eastbrook Academy

MLK 2022 virtual speech contest highlights video
2022 speech highlights
(3:57 min)


Strengthen students’ reading, writing and public speaking skills while encouraging them to learn about and support the dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


  • Open to K-12 students.
  • One speech entry per grade-level category per school. Each school should establish a procedure to determine their entry for each grade level category.
  • Speeches must be written and delivered by the student speaker. Use of notes is optional.
  • Speeches are timed and must not exceed four minutes.
  • Students must use the theme: "Working toward a world of peace."
    There is no easy way to create a world where men and women can live together, where each has his own job and home and where all children receive as much education as their minds can absorb. But if such a world is created in our lifetime, it will be done in the United States by Negroes and white people of good will. It will be accomplished by persons who have the courage to put an end to suffering by willingly suffering themselves rather than inflict suffering upon others. It will be done by rejecting racism, materialism and violence that has characterized Western Civilization and especially by working toward a world of brotherhood, cooperation and peace.
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; A Time to Break Silence; 4 April 1967; New York City.
  • Student behavior should be attentive, courteous and supportive at all times.
  • Speakers are judged using the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Contest Judging Criteria.

Virtual preliminaries

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022

Sponsored by Milwaukee Public Schools

Grade-level category times (Only one entry per grade level category per school.)

K-2 8:30 a.m.
3-4 9:30 a.m.
5-6 10:30 a.m.
7-8 11:30 a.m.
9-10 12:30 p.m.
11-12 1:30 p.m.

In-person finals

Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022

Sponsored by We Energies

Top five speakers from each grade level category qualify for finals.

We Energies Public Service Building Auditorium
231 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee

MLK 2021 virtual speech contest highlights video
2021 speech highlights
(3:08 min)

MLK 2020 speech highlights video
2020 speech highlights
(3:03 min)

MLK 2019 speech highlights video
2019 speech highlights
(4:04 min)