DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Elementary school students honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Friday during the final rounds of the Foley & Lardner MLK Jr. Oratory Competition in Dallas.
Students channeled the late civil rights leader’s passion and charisma in original speeches about what they think Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision would be for America in 2020.
Colin Harris, a fifth grader from J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard in Dallas, won first place relaying Dr. King’s vision “to love one another.”
The oratory competition is held in conjunction with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to encourage people to remember and pay tribute to the late civil rights leader’s legacy. Foley established the event to encourage students to learn more about Dr. King and to help cultivate the writing and speaking skills of elementary school students.
Harris began his speech suggesting that Dr. King’s Vision for America in 2020 would be for us to “strive to truly become the greatest nation.” He went on to suggest that in order to meet that vision, “we would have to listen to one another, have compassion for each other, accept each other and coexist with each other in love.”
The Dallas student continued to say he believes the best way to honor Dr. King’s legacy is “to commit ourselves to his vision of nonviolence. Violence is not the solution to anything. Violence only breeds more violence.”
He closed his speech by encouraging the audience to never to stop moving forward until everyone is free.
“Free from hatred, free from violence, free from injustice… free from inequality,” he said.
Dominic Patermo, a fourth-grade student from Harry C. Withers Elementary, placed second in the Dallas competition, while fifth-grader Jasira King of William Brown Miller Elementary took home third.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)