Two Collins students add their voices to MLK Day
Two Collins students add their voices to MLK Day
Posted on 01/19/2017
Two students on stage at MLK Day event

Collins Elementary students Austin McDonald and Meredith Tipton won the interfaith Center for racial justice (ICTJ) elementary school oratory contest.

The students were selected based on video evidence of performance skills captured and submitted by Collins  elementary teacher Mrs. Theresa Van Sickle.

Two students performed a  recitation of the speech by MLK and President Lyndon Johnson live on stage at the 2017 MLK holiday celebration at Dakota high school. 

Below are the speeches performed by the students. 

In 1965, Dr. King appealed to all people:

There is one blow for freedom which we must all strike together. It is the blow which racists feel at the ballot box where we all register and vote. Your vote is not a small contribution to the struggle for freedom. It is as large – as significant – as any can make. There is no short-cut to freedom, but the road is shorter through the ballot box. On behalf of those who struggle at this very moment for the freedom of us all, I ask you – register and vote.


Soon after, President Johnson delivered a special message to Congress, and said:

I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy. Our mission is the oldest and the most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man.

This dignity rests on the right to equal opportunity. To deny a man his hopes because of his color or race or religion is not only to do injustice, it is to deny America and to dishonor those who gave their lives for American freedom. Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote.

There is no constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain.

There is no moral issue. It is wrong to deny the right to vote in this country.

There is no issue of States rights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.

And we shall overcome.