The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (PWCAC-DST) will host its 30th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Youth Oratorical Program. The program is free, and the doors will open at 10 a.m. and various vendors and community organizations will be there.
At 11 a.m., six students in grades 6-12, representing schools from Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park will display their oratorical skills to expound on the theme “Let Freedom Ring”. The six students will be selected from participation in a regional contest held the week before.
Over the past 29 years, the six finalists have amazed and inspired audiences with thoughtful ideas, impactful delivery and a clear vision and call to action. The 30th year, with the guidestar of “Let Freedom Ring” is sure to be to one the best. “The 2020 theme, ‘Let Freedom Ring,’ is actually a return to theme we used to inspire our orators at the first oratorical contest back in 1991” notes Sheila Bryant, co-chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day program.
Fellow program co-chair Sandra Mitchell added, “The audience at the 2020 program will hear about these ideals from the optimistic and courageous, which will remind us of our better selves, what we can be, and what the future can hold for us. This message, we believe, is the legacy of Dr. King and the reason this program exists, but our chapter could not sustain this program with the generous support of the community, corporate and education foundations, local churches and private donors.”
Fourth and fifth grade students from the area elementary schools are invited to participate in a writing contest. The essay contest provides an opportunity for elementary students to also participate and the winners are announced on the day of the program.
The celebration will be heightened with the voices of the MLK Community choir comprised of children in grades K-12. The choir is under the musical direction of Ivory Lawrence Coleman and participants are still welcome to join. No auditions are required. Students who volunteer in the choir may earn up to 25 hours for community service.
PWCAC-DST also reaches out to the community with an invitation to participate in its “Day of Service” project at the King Day program. Donations of non-perishable food items and new/slightly used winter wear will be collected for distribution to Prince William area families through local non-profits, such as The Prince William Community Foundation, The Good News Kitchen and Streetlight Community Outreach Ministries.