A Black teenager dressed in a suit and tie stands a podium on a stage and gives a speech.
Photo by Jack Pritt.

Stand Up, Be Heard

The Stand Up, Be Heard program is a transformative initiative that empowers young people to confidently express themselves through civic engagement, research, historical thinking and public speaking. With Ford’s Approach to Oratory as its foundation, the program comprises six classroom sessions, each led by a Ford’s Teaching Artist. By fostering critical thinking and self-expression, the program encourages students to engage in meaningful dialogue about individual and collective agency, culminating in the crafting of powerful speeches. Selected students from each classroom will have the opportunity to present their speeches on the iconic Ford’s Theatre stage.

To qualify for the Stand Up, Be Heard program, your school must:

  • Be a D.C. Public School or D.C. Public Charter School
  • Teach 7th-12th grade students

Applications for the 2023-2024 school year are now closed.