Sun | Mar 29, 2020

Rita Marley Public Speaking competition to celebrate five years

Published:Thursday | October 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle/Gleaner Writer
Last year's first place winner Oshel Bryan of Wolmer's Boys' School receives his trophy from Rosemary Duncan, manager of Rita Marley Foundation.

The Rita Marley Foundation (JA) is gearing up to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their annual public speaking competition.

Slated for February 15, 2019, manager of the Rita Marley Foundation (JA), Rosemary Duncan, says the fifth anniversary will be 'monumental'. With substantial sponsorship support from individuals and organisations, including Leeds family in Las Vegas, South African High Commission, Jamaica Fire Equipment Limited, National Council on Reparations (NCR) and Centre for Reparation Research (CRR), the competition next year is expected to be bigger and better.

Donna Leeds of the Leeds family in Las Vegas said her family was happy to support the competition as it is a great way to nurture and support the nation's youth. Pointing out that next year's topic is a great discussion point, Professor Verene Shepherd, director, CRR & co-chair of NCR, said the Centre for Reparation Research is pleased to collaborate with the Rita Marley Foundation (JA) for the Competition.

Acting South African High Commissioner Tyrone Gunnie said his office was happy to support the competition because it not only supports the youth on their journey to becoming great public speakers, but it also challenges them to broaden their knowledge base, which he believes is important.

Students have already been assigned a topic for the first segment of the competition, and are expected to present their ideas on reparation under the moot, 'Of all the forms that reparation should take, repatriation to Africa is the most important.' Orators are free to support or oppose the moot. They will be given six minutes to present in that round. Immediately following the first segment, judges will select three finalists who will then be issued an impromptu topic for delivery. The first-place winner will be awarded $50,000 plus other prizes. The second and third will also receive significant cash prizes.

For four consecutive years, the Rita Marley Foundation has been helping high-school students hone their public-speaking skills by hosting the competition that allows them to express themselves in front of a panel of judges. Past winners have gone on to develop their skills, earning the right to represent Jamaica regionally and internationally.