A Generation that Learns to Listen, Reason, and Persuade can Shape the Future


Our History

In a culturally enriched context, Orators practice speaking and leadership skills to enhance self-confidence.

The New Jersey Orators (NJO) is a non-profit organization that teaches public speaking skills primarily to youth of African-American descent from 7 to 18 years of age.

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


Kids having fun

In developing the organization, the founders focused on strong oratorical and verbal skills, as well as an appreciation of literature. Also, they sought teaching methodologies that were fun and interactive and coaches who were trained in language, communication, English, and/or practiced formal speech in their daily work. As a result, the organization relies on executive and education volunteers who are strongly committed to the program's mission.

Since founding, the New Jersey Orators has established a record of achievement. It has grown from one chapter with 16 members to 15 chapters statewide. The growth of NJO is attributed to three factors:

1. excitement generated at performances and statewide competitions
2. word-of-mouth by parents and youth
3. referrals by teachers

Annually, NJO works with almost 500 youth throughout the state and receives requests for additional chapters every year. NJO children speak for themselves. They speak with eloquence, knowledge of their subject matter, and comfort in who they are. New Jersey Orators are leaders in school, church, and their communities.

Kids having fun