Fort Bend Resident Plays Unique Role in Encouraging Students to Discover and Honor the Teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Claude Treece, winner of the 2018 competition Tchanori Kone and Foley Gardere Partner Scott Ellis.

Fort Bend resident and Foley Gardere Partner Claude Treece will once again serve as event chair of the 23rd Annual Foley Gardere Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratory Competition January 18th at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ in Houston. Treece has served as the event chair since its inception 23 years ago.

Continuing the tradition of honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, fourth- and fifth-grade students in Houston will deliver original three-to-five minute speeches answering the question: “What would Dr. King say to the children of today’s world?”

More than 180 students representing 24 Houston ISD schools participated in the in-school competitions held in the fall. One student from each participating school was selected to advance to the semifinal round to be held January 11th at Thompson Elementary. Of the 24 semifinalists, 12 students will advance to the final competition, which will take place January 18th at 10 am. The event is free to attend and open to the public.

The event is hosted in conjunction with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to encourage the community to remember and pay tribute to the late civil rights leader’s legacy. The event was created to encourage students to learn about Dr. King and help cultivate the writing and speaking skills of elementary school students. At all three levels of the competition, students are evaluated on delivery, stage presence and decorum, content interpretation and memorization.

The competition was established in Dallas in 1993 by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP. On April 1st, 2018, Gardere combined with Foley & Lardner LLP, and now the event is branded the Annual Foley Gardere MLK, Jr. Oratory Competition. The event’s success in Dallas led to the establishment of the competition in Houston in 1997.