The 8th Annual Leola Wade Oratorical Contest at Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy was a tremendous success. The primary aim of the contest is to cultivate a deeper awareness, knowledge, and appreciation for the transformative power of the written and spoken word. Through their exceptional oratory skills, each speaker takes the audience on a journey to pivotal historical moments, capturing its essence, wisdom, and virtues. By participating, each orator pays tribute to the past, impacts the present, and fortifies the future.
With the participation of every student orator, the Academy pays homage to a remarkable educator, scholar, mentor, and former principal of Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy, Ms. Leola Wade. Her passion and dedication to excellence found fulfillment as she sought to facilitate learning, improve scholastic achievement, and ensure academic success for each student. Through this annual event, we celebrate her life, honor her legacy, and cherish her memory.
According to Delmas F. Campbell, the Oratorical Contest Organizer and Sponsor, the event was a fitting tribute to Ms. Leola Wade. It is an occasion to inspire and motivate young minds to excel in their pursuit of knowledge and self-expression, just as Ms. Wade did throughout her career.
This year’s oratorical contest featured outstanding performances from Nzinga Parham, who delivered a moving speech on “To My People” by Assata Shakur, Kez Crenshaw, who gave a powerful rendition of “The Ballot or the Bullet” by Malcolm X, Yorick Brathwaite, who eloquently spoke on “The Other America” by Martin Luther King Jr., Marcus Brown, who delivered an impassioned speech on “The Principles of the Universal Negro Improvement Association” by Marcus Garvey, and Leah Hall, who spoke passionately about the “Equal Rights Amendment” by Shirley Chisholm. Each orator displayed remarkable skill and artistry in their delivery, capturing the essence and relevance of each speech to the present day. Their performances were a true testament to the power of oratory and a fitting tribute to the legacy of Ms. Leola Wade.
The panel of judges for this year’s oratorical contest was composed of distinguished individuals who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the competition. Among the judges were Calvin B. Preston, President of the South Atlantic Conference, and Dr. Cedric Hinds, a seasoned manager with over twenty-five years of experience. Also serving as a judge was Judge Cynthia C. Adams, a trailblazer and the first African American woman to serve as a judge in Douglas County’s history. Attorney Dwayne Adams, with his extensive legal background, also served as a judge, as did Justice Verde M. Colvin, the first African American woman appointed by a Republican governor to the Georgia Supreme Court. The panel also included Director Murray Cooper, an accomplished Adventist educator; Dr. Debbie Wallace, a trailblazing author, producer, and CEO; Judge Joy Walker, a former Senior Public Defender for the City of Atlanta; Attorney Issiah Delemar, a strategic entrepreneur and employment law expert; Fani Willis, the District Attorney for Fulton County, Georgia; and Dr. Issacc Newton, a leader in managing change and transformational leadership. Their expertise and unique perspectives ensured a fair and rigorous evaluation process for the oratorical contest.
“Kindly take a moment to browse through some captivating pictures from the 8th Annual Leola Wade Oratorical Contest, with photography credits to Daniel Stephens and Urick LaDonis.”