National Bar Association


MLK I have a Dream Contest

April 8, 2015 NBA Submission Deadline



For More Information on the NBA's Competition, click here

The JLTLA Foundation underwrites prizes for the Local DFW

MLK Competition



While any local competition is administered by the JLTLA, in select years, the JLTLA Foundation has separately underwritten its own local prizes to spur participation by local Dallas high school students in the National Bar Association's MLK I Have a Dream Oral Advocacy and Writing Competition.


The Foundation's goals are:

1.  To increase participation from the Dallas area in the NBA event by providing an incentive to submit.

2.  To provide an opportunity for DFW students to deliver their oration prior to regional and national competitions and receive helpful feedback.

3.  To provide some financial support for travel to the regional convention, if it's held outside of the DFW area     


A prize is awarded to the winner of the Foundation's competition.   The Foundation thanks AT&T for its generous support underwriting the local competition through 2016.


To participate in the local MLK contest, students must submit also their essay to the NBA by its deadline (usually the end of March or early April) and also submit a copy to the Foundation.

2015 MLK Competition Question


In March 2014, The U.S. Department of Education released a survey of civil rights data showing that despite comprising only 18 percent of preschool children, African-Americans represented 42 percent of preschoolers suspended and nearly half of those preschoolers were suspended more than once.  Some argue that these students are funneled into the “pre-school to prison” pipeline.

If Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive, would he argue that school’s “zero-tolerance” policies fuel the “pre-school to prison” pipeline?  Would Dr. King say the “zero-tolerance” policies have gone too far?


Please discuss why or why not.

J. L. Turner - Martin Luther King Oratorical Contest

Funding the Education of the Next Generation of African American Leaders in Dallas
Supporting Pro Bono Legal Service Organizations Working in Our Community


J.  L.   Turner   Legal   Association
F O U N D A T I O N


Thank you to our 2014 judges and contestants pictured here

2015 Judges Wesley Terrell, 3 MLK contestants, Steve Bolden, Emmanuel Obi

2015 Local DFW Contest Details


While the NBA will have a 2015 national oratorical competition which will take place in LA in July 2015, there will be a local DFW contest too sponsored by the Foundation and JLTLA in May 2015.


dfw  Date:     May 2, 2015
Time:                3Pm
Place:              Mahomes Bolden PC


For more information on a local DFW contest to be posted after April 20, 2015.

Past MLK Competition Topics


The topics of the Competition are always considered from the point of view of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and have included:

Law enforcement treatment of persons of Arab descent and of the Muslim faith in terrorist investigations.

The need for reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Recommendations for action on the 40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act to address the continuing problem of voter disenfranchisement in minority communities.

The treatment of juveniles in the criminal justice system.

The right of same-sex couples to marry.

Repealing of Stand Your Ground Laws.