About New Jersey Orators

New Jersey Orators, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C) 3 youth organization that teaches the art of public speaking, an appreciation for literature, reading and media arts literacy, civic engagement, college readiness and life skills to youth from 7 to 18 years of age in preparation for advance learning. The organization is a national organization with state chapters and a national Advisory Board

A Generation That Learns to Listen, Reason, and Persuade,
Can Shape the Future.

About

The organization was founded in 1985 by a small group of African-American corporate executives who were concerned by the lack of formal language skills of young people who visited and interviewed for jobs at their respective companies.

Aware that communications skills play a major role in achieving academic and career success, the dedicated executives established the first Orators chapter in New Jersey.

New Jersey Orators has a record of achievement demonstrated by the effectiveness of our volunteer staff and programming. We have received several local and national recognition awards for the impact of our programs: 2023 Dr. King Commission Award for Youth Programs; 2022 NJ Governors’ Jefferson Award; 2022 NJ Jefferson Award, 2021 New Jersey Chamber & the African American Chamber of Commerce Diversity Award; 2019 Johnson & Johnson’s MLK Community Service Award, 2015 President’s Volunteer Service Award, 2014 NJ Black Issue Conference Community Change Award in Education, and the Social Entrepreneurship Award from Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. More recently, Eloise Samuels, Founder & President, was awarded The Manhattan Institute Civil Society Fellow given to nonprofit leaders whose efforts improve their local communities by addressing or preventing a social challenge.

It has grown from one chapter with 16 members to chapters throughout the state of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and several planned for New York City and beyond. The New Jersey Orators, Inc is headquartered in Bridgewater, NJ.

Factors Contributing to NJOrators' Growth:

"This successful program integrates the humanities with school and community. With support from libraries, local bookstores, teacher partnerships and referrals, students are responsive and attendance is high."
~The Board of Directors

Our Mission

Our Mission is to teach the art of public speaking, an appreciation for literature, reading and media arts literacy, college readiness, and life skills to youth nationwide from 7 to 18 years of age in preparation for advance education.

Our Impact

Our organization strives to make a tangible impact on the lives of the youth we serve. The objective is to develop critical thinking skills in our youth and expose students to culturally sensitive literature written by authors and playwright whom they would not normally know about from the curriculum taught in their schools, but the exposure would enrich their educational experience.

Our Vision

Our Vision is to build confident youth with the ABILITY to succeed.

“An Appreciation for Literature” means African American Literature, Latin American Literature, Caribbean American Literature and Literature of the African Diaspora.

“Youth” means ALL youth without discrimination but we are reaching out to low-income “at-risk” youth.

"Personally, I have been influenced by my involvement as a trained NJO Competition Judge for more than 15 years. As an educator, I recognize and fully appreciate the service New Jersey Orators renders to the community..."
Rita Holiday
President, Nu Xi Omega Chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 2011

Leadership

Executive Board

The Executive Board and the Management Operating Board oversee and manage Orators, Inc. The Executive Board is comprised of the original founders of the organization. Their role is to promote the program, track and maintain organizational records, and manage the on-going operations of the organization.

Their main responsibilities include:

  • Promote the oratorical program
  • Solicit funds
  • Assist in the recruitment of coaches, judges and other participants
  • Maintain the operating budget

Co Founders

Executive Board Members

Manage Operating Board

 The Manage Operating Board reports to the Executive Board through the Executive Director. The Executive Board must approve all committee activities. The Management Operating Board is comprised of chairpersons of the Management Operating Committees. These primary committees help administer various functions of the organization: 
  • Finance
  • Education and Training
  • Competition
  • Membership
  • Fundraiser

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board  is comprised of volunteers from corporations, foundations, state departments, and individual authors and artists who provide advice and direction to the Executive Board. They are influential in their field of vocation. Their role is to promote the program in their businesses and community as well as provide sources of funding for the future sustainability of the organization. In addition, they are expected to provide advisory guidance and direction necessary for the sustainability of Orators and to help expand it within New Jersey and nationally.

"...Among the approaches that can be applied that can divert children and teens from the prison pipeline, there are two activities that I'd like to draw your attention to: Oratory and Baseball...When I was young we had oratorical contests in school, where you learned to speak with clear enunciation and good diction. The present day model is the New Jersey Orators, which seeks to improve public speaking skills among children..."
Marian Wright Edelman
Founder of Children's Defense Fund, Chicago Defender, October 2007

Our Office

Orators, Inc. is a 501 C 3 non-profit umbrella organization established to teach the art of public speaking, life skills and literacy skills to youth. The organization was founded in 1985 by a small group of New Jersey African-American corporate executives who were concerned by the lack of formal language skills of young people who visited and interviewed for jobs at their respective companies. These executives set out to improve the language skills primarily of youth from ages 7 to 18 years of age, in preparation for roles in leadership and employment.

The organization is a national organization with state chapters and a national Advisory Board. Aware that communications skills play a major role in achieving academic and career success, the dedicated executives established the first Orators chapter in New Jersey. Since founding, Orators, Inc has established an affiliate chapter at the Ethembeni Enrichment Center in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

120 Finderne Ave, Bridgewater, NJ 08807

 

 

“This successful program integrates the humanities with school and community. With support from libraries, local bookstores, teacher partnerships and referrals, students are responsive and attendance is high. All of this is reflected in improved academically achievement,” says the Board of Directors.