The 2015 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit Oratorical Contest was held on May 9, 2015 at One Ford Place, the site of Henry Ford Health System. Fittingly, HAP, was a sponsor for the event that drew over 60 spectators, family, and friends of the 6 participants from 4 different schools. 3 Scholarships were awarded for 1st place ($2000), 2nd place ($1000), and 3rd place ($500). As well, all participants received an award, with the remaining students receiving a $100 reward. The theme for this year’s event was “Do Black Lives Matter”, which is a nod to the growing unrest around the country surrounding the rights of people of color and young people of all races when faced with situations involving law enforcement.
The committee planned for 3 months to make the event a success. Through contacting a number of schools and maintaining communication about the program and the mission, the committee was able to coach the representatives at the school on the standards of oration that were expected for the competition. The representatives of the schools faxed applications for their chosen students and worked to prepare them for the big day with the guidance of the committee. Additionally, many planning meetings were held to put together the program and organize the flow of the event.
The day began with the introduction of the judges and some comments by members of HAP and 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit before the speakers took the stage and delivered an entertaining variety of thoughts on the topic. In the end, representatives from Cass Tech took the honors of and everyone was treated to a lite lunch before adjourning for the day.
The purpose of the event is to provide scholarships for deserving young people, who express themselves very eloquently before a crowd of spectators. The mission is to raise consciousness of current events and of our brilliant young people.
1st Place – Malik Childs
2nd Place – Rodrick Woodruff-Taylor
3rd Place – Antonio Jeffries
Overall, a wonderful event and a step towards assisting our youth in the community achieve their goals!!