Suncoast Chapter of Jack and Jill of America hosts oratorical competition

The inaugural Ann Owen Gordon Community Oratorical Competition took place in February at the Gibbs campus of St. Petersburg College.

ST. PETERSBURG — The inaugural Ann Owen Gordon Community Oratorical Competition, hosted by the Suncoast Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., took place in February. The organization partnered with St. Petersburg College’s Harambee Club on the Gibbs campus, led by Leslie Rhaney.

The event was an exciting platform encouraging participants to showcase their eloquence, passion and persuasive communication skills. It was a celebration of articulate expression, fostering a space for participants to engage in thoughtful discourse and contribute to the art of public speaking.

This year’s theme was “Magnifying Black Power, Evolving by the Hour.” Participants were coached weekly on different aspects of public speaking. They were asked to craft a compelling speech that addressed the various aspects of this theme, offering unique perspectives, insights, and solutions. The chosen theme aimed to inspire participants to delve into critical thinking, provoke thoughtful conversations, and ignite a positive thought process.

The oratorical competition was open to the community and SPC students. A panel of esteemed community members with relevant backgrounds and experience judged participants. Each participant received a certificate and a restaurant gift card. The top three contenders won monetary gift cards, along with the invaluable experience of having their voices heard on a public platform.

This year’s participants included Deano Barnes, Addyson Bivens, Laiah Calhoun, Brianna Davidson, Khary Dodd, Gabrianna Gilchrist, Kiara Hazley, Emersen Jackson, Khamani Snow, and Lilliana Ward.

  • 1st Place Winners: Deano Barnes & Khamani Snow (tied)
  • 2nd Place Winner: Lilliana Ward
  • 3rd Place Winner: Addyson Bivens

The competition was chaired by Brooke Taylor and co-chaired by Ajene’ Snow in conjunction with Leslie Rhaney, Harambee Club sponsor.

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