Delta Beta Lambda Chapter
Virtual Oratorical Competition
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Delta Beta Lambda Chapter, Hampton, VA proudly presents our Virtual Oratorical Contest on Saturday, June 5, 2021. This year the theme of the contest is “Why I Believe/Do Not Believe That Modern Policing Is In Need Of Reform”.
The competition is open to students in grades 9th through 12th. Students interested in competing may register by completing the enclosed registration form, which includes a copy of the rules, requirements, and judging criteria. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me: Melvin Brown (757) 876-6239 and email address DBLOratoricalContest@gmail.com.
We invite students from Hampton and Newport News area high schools to participate by creating an original speech based on this year’s theme. The participants must deliver their speeches live through a video link with minimal reference to notes, for the competition. All speeches must have original content and be no more than 1,000 words in length (7-15 minutes).
On the day of the event, participants will be expected to present at 11:00 p.m. A copy of the essay or speech, typed and double-spaced, must be presented to the Chief Judge prior to your live presentation. A parent or guardian must be present for each participant, and participants are encouraged to extend invitations to members of their family, classmates, teachers, churches and friends.
Essay Question: In August of 2014, the United States was struck by tragedy in the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18 year old Black teenager at the hands of former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. From that day forward, countless Black men, women, and children have become victims of officer-involved shootings. In the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, protests transpired from coast to coast and around the world, with many of the protest attendees demanding justice for George Floyd, and for sweeping police reform. The participants in these protests were met with either a militarized response, or violence from local police departments.
In this oratorical competition, participants are asked to take a position in support of, or in opposition to, police reform. Among the issues, participants may choose to address are the following:
● Should there be leeway given when police officers are being prosecuted for a crime?
● Police officer training varies dramatically from department to department, in delivery, dosage and content.
Having said that, do you think there should be a ratio of de-escalation training per hour of firearm training?
If so, provide the ratio.
● Should police officers live in the area their precinct covers?
● What is your position on the current state of police funding?
Essay Criteria: The essay must be no more than 1,000 words in length, should be delivered in seven to fifteen minutes in length, and should contain the following:
● An introduction, which identifies the subject and contains an explanation of the writer’s position. The objective is to
demonstrate an understanding of the essay question and show that a response (position) has been formed.
● A body, which develops the argument from the writer’s point of view. This part of the essay should clearly articulate
the position of the writer and reasons for that position.
● A conclusion, which summarizes the essay and restates the writer’s position.
Evaluation of Essays: Applicants will email their essays 48 hours prior to the Delta Beta Lambda Virtual Oratorical Competition on June 5, 2021 at DBLOratoricalContest@gmail.com
Participants will be evaluated by a panel of judges using the following criteria:
● Focus: Examines how well the essay responds to the various parts of the question.
● Organization: Looks at the structure of the essay and the strength of the position taken.
● Conclusions: Examines how well the essay is summarized and closing thoughts presented.
● Voice: Considers how well the essay engages the reader. Does the essay fully capture the reader’s attention?
● Style and Mechanics: Examines how well the essay is written in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation, word-use and
● Oral Presentation: Examines how well the orator presents his/her essay to an audience.
Deadline for submission: A typed copy of the written speech and the Virtual Oratorical Contest entry form must be emailed to DBLOratoricalContest@gmail.com no later than 3:06 p.m. on June 3, 2021. The entry form must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian.
Contest Awards/Recognition: Upon completion of essay presentations at the Oratorical Competition, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place participants will be selected by a panel of judges and given monetary awards valued at $300, $200, and $100 respectively.