Dothan-based organizing committee PACE (Proclaiming America’s Call for Equality) will present its fifth annual Freedom Speaks: The Call of Lincoln and King speech competition for Wiregrass area high school students Sunday, Jan. 19, at Wiregrass Church in Dothan.

The free event starts at 6 p.m.

Ten students from 12 participating high schools have been chosen to compete for $5,000 in scholarships in the event. Each will present either President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address or a pre-selected portion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Students also will present a speech they’ve written themselves answering the question, “If you wrote a speech today, what would your title be and what would be your message to society?”

A panel of judges will score participants on dress and overall appearance; delivery and style; and quality and clarity of the presentation.

The mission of Freedom Speaks is to challenge, encourage and motivate students to develop a better understanding of history and its application in today’s world while also offering a chance for the students to personally excel in competition.

PACE was organized in 2015 to promote America’s foundation that all men and women are created equal. Founding members of PACE are Dr. W. Charles Lewis, senior pastor of Dothan Community Church; Rosaland Harrison, coach and consultant of IndelibleMark Coaching and Consulting Services LLC; Charles Nailen, business owner; and Billy McCarthy and Donald P. Bolden of CapSouth Partners Inc. in Dothan.

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