Martin Luther King Spoken Word Contest

3rd Annual In-the-Loop
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Spoken Word Contest
Contest Rules

Virtual Program Monday, January 17, 2021, 1 PM
(Recorded submissions due January 10, 2021)
“What is Owed- Reparations”

Write your original poetry, prose, rap, or any genre of spoken word to SPEAK to what is owed and how we should act to repair the damage that centuries of slavery and social injustice has caused.

View the B’More Human Series Part 1: “What is Owed-Reparations” and part 2 , ” A time to Reflect and Act.”


1) Spoken word must be recorded and submitted to the designated location by the entry deadline of January 10, 2022.
2) Students are encouraged to memorize their offering to maximize the quality of their presentation.
3) Content of spoken word offering must be the students original work, developed independently, with support, as needed, from responsible adults.
4) Prizes will be awarded to 12 contestants:
a.) First, second and third prizes will be awarded according to an average of three judges’ scores in each age group— 9 to10, 11-13, 14-17, and 18 or older.
5) Decisions by judges are final. Judges will:
a.) Attest to impartial consideration of each contestant.
b.) Adhere to the contest’s established criteria.
6) Judging criteria:
a.) Delivery (Elocution)—The ability of the listener to understand each word that is spoken, e.g. pronunciation, volume, audience engagement (‘eye contact’).
b.) The Message—message is coherent and engaging. That is, the content is emotionally, intellectually, and culturally engaging, as well as relevant to the contest.
7) Contestants agree to participate in a live streaming presentation of their spoken word, if
selected, on January 17, 2022, during the B’More Human Series Presentation of contest winners.