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Our Authors Study Club and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Sigma Sigma Chapter Los Angeles Awards Contest Winners | PHOTOS

igma Gamma Rho LA Contest Chair Terri Lyons presents 1st Place award to 2023 Oratorical Contest winner Rahbyn Lampkin along with OASC Pres Dr. Lura Daniels-Ball, Sigma Sigma Pres Tawanda Carpenter and Co-Chair LaRita Shelby. Photo: Ian Foxx Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA
Sigma Gamma Rho LA Contest Chair Terri Lyons presents 1st Place award to 2023 Oratorical Contest winner Rahbyn Lampkin along with OASC Pres Dr. Lura Daniels-Ball, Sigma Sigma Pres Tawanda Carpenter and Co-Chair LaRita Shelby. Photo: Ian Foxx Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA

*The culmination of the 2023 Oratorical Contest presented by Our Authors Study Club and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Sigma Sigma Chapter was recently held in Los Angeles, CA.

The contest returned for a second year to the NCNW So Cal Council House where six outstanding youth spoke their truth to a delighted crowd of parents, friends, educators and members of the community.

In a very close contest, cash awards went to Rahbyn Lampkin 1st Place; Kholin Young 2nd Place, and Nylah Jordan 3rd Place.

Rahbyn and Nylah are both 11th graders from University High School and first-time contenders in the historical context, while Kholin Young (a 9th grader at Branded Genius Academy) is enjoying his second consecutive win.

Oratorical Contestant 2023 Rahbyn Lampkin takes 1st place . Photo: Ian Foxx Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA
Oratorical Contestant 2023 Rahbyn Lampkin takes 1st place. Photo: Ian Foxx Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA

This year’s theme was The Black Resistance and each student passionately articulated an angle of the topic particularly unique to their perspective.  Their writing and research collectively paid homage to notable historic figures such as Frederick Douglas, Ida B. Wells, Phyllis Wheatley, Jackie Robinson, Madame CJ Walker, the Black Panthers, and the Honorable Judge Thurgood Marshall, Pres. Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Attorney Benjamin Crump, and many more.

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Our Authors Study Club Sigma Gamma Rho LA and Oratorical Contest winners 2023. Photo: Ian Foxx Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA
Our Authors Study Club Sigma Gamma Rho LA and Oratorical Contest winners 2023. Photo: Ian Foxx Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA

The annual Oratorical Contest is open to grades 8-12 and youth residing in Greater Los Angeles.  Contest Chairwoman was the effervescent Terri Lyons, a member Sigma Gamma Rho.

Ms. Lyons led the 71st annual event in tandem with Dr. Lura Daniels-Ball, President of Our Authors Study Club (OASC), the local branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). 

Additional committee members included the president of Sigma Sigma Chapter Tawanda Carpenter, LaRita Shelby, Dr. Roushelle Bozeman, and Maude Johnson (Events Committee OASC).

ASALH was founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the “Father” of Black History in 1915 and OASC was founded by the late Vassie D. Wright in 1945, becoming a charter of ASALH in 1948.  Vassie Wright was also a member of Sigma Gamma Rho.

Oratorical Contest 2023 Special Guest Speaker Judge Patrick Hare. Photo: Ian Foxx Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA
Oratorical Contest 2023 Special Guest Speaker Judge Patrick Hare. Photo: Ian Foxx Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA

Special guests this year included guest speaker Judge Patrick Hare (Superior Court Judge LA County), contest judges Isa Martinez (Administrator of the Office of Staff Relations LAUSD), Brad Rumble (Elementary School Principal LAUSD), Ernest McCollough (LAUSD Complex Project Manager) and Jermaine Shelton (Founder of Shelton Media Group).

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Sigma Sigma Chapter member Barbara Blackmon is a joyful host of the 2023 Oratorical Contest. Photo: Ian Foxx Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Sigma Sigma Chapter member Barbara Blackmon is a joyful host of the 2023 Oratorical Contest. Photo: Ian Foxx Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA

Barbara Blackmon (Teacher LAUSD & Sigma Gamma Rho member) was a vibrant emcee and Black History facts were shared by Terri Lyons and Dr. Roushelle Bozeman.  Special thanks are extended to Dr. Helena Johnson of NCNW So-Cal, Charter Communications, Tiffany Williams, AHF, the Los Angeles Lakers, OneUnited Bank, Amazon, and the Center Theatre Group.

The theme for the 2024 Oratorical Contest will be announced in late 2023. Students, parents, and educators interested in applying or submitting youth for the contest should check the website for details and updates at www.OratoricalContest.com. Businesses, organizations, and donors seeking more information, please email [email protected].

All Photos by Ian Foxx – Courtesy of OASC & SGRho LA

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