Your Vote Matters- HBO Documentary About OUSD’s Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Fest is Nominated for NAACP Image Award; Public Voting is Open Through Friday

PRESS RELEASE Tuesday, March 2, 2021Contact: John SasakiCommunications Director 510-214-2080[email protected]
Oakland, CA — The Emmy-award winning HBO documentary, We Are The Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest, is up for another major award, and the driving force behind it is calling for public support across Oakland and the Bay Area to push the film over the top. We Are The Dream won the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program in September. But now, it’s a nominee for a NAACP Image Award. Unlike the Emmy Awards, the public can vote for the NAACP Image Awards, which are described as the country’s premier event celebrating outstanding performances in the arts by people of color.

We Are The Dream documents OUSD’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Fest, which is one of the District’s most popular events. It shows all the work that hundreds of students, along with their teachers and families, put into giving powerful speeches in the competition. Students of all ages from schools across Oakland become seasoned orators in the spirit of Dr. King, highlighting issues of race and social justice. The executive producer was actor Mahershala Ali, who is from Oakland.

The producer of the MLK Oratorical Fest, Chair of the Skyline High School Performing Arts Department and drama teacher, Awele Makeba, says it’s time to cast your ballot for the documentary. “Let’s feed our hunger for social justice and dignity by uplifting the voices of Oakland youth full of vitality and agency” by voting for We Are The Dream in the category of Outstanding Children’s Program.

Supporters can vote at “Oakland’s youth are precious gems to be treasured,” said Makeba. “So let them shine as a model of possibility and hope for millions of youth in our nation. Dr. King’s Legacy is alive and well in Oakland!”

If you have yet to watch the documentary, you can see it here for free:

We Are The Dream is a beautiful film that expertly shares the brilliance and integrity of our young people,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “The MLK Oratorical Fest is one of my favorite events of the year, and I treasure the times I have had the chance to serve as a judge in the competition. Our students never cease to amaze me with their passion and dedication to their craft and to the legacy of Dr. King. There’s no question that our young people and this documentary deserve to be honored in the NAACP Image Awards.”

The deadline for the public to vote is this Friday, March 5. The NAACP Image Awards will air live on BET at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday, March 27.###About the Oakland Unified School DistrictIn California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 81 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success. 

To learn more about OUSD’s Full Service Community District focused on academic achievement while serving the whole child in safe schools, please visit and follow us @OUSDnews.
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