Mahershala Ali '96 Claims First Emmy Award

Mahershala Ali '96 won his first Emmy Award for Oustanding Children's Program, the Television Academy announced on Sunday.

Ali, who has won two Oscars awards as an actor, claimed his first Emmy as an executive producer of the HBO documentary We Are The Dream: The Kids Of The Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest. He was also nominated for oustanding supporting actor in a comedy series for Ramy. 

Description of We Are The Dream: The Kids Of The Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest (via

"Every year, hundreds of children in pre-K through 12th grade participate in the Oakland MLK Oratorical Festival, a stirring public speaking competition where they perform poetry and speeches, both published and original, inspired by the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Directed and produced by Emmy-winner Amy Schatz (In the Shadow of the Towers, Song of Parkland) and executive produced by Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali (True Detective), We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest is an uplifting documentary about young people finding their voices and the community that celebrates and supports their passion. 

Focusing on the Oakland Unified School District’s MLK Oratorical Festival in California—one of many oratorical competitions that take place across the country—the documentary follows students from schools across the city in the months leading up to the 40th annual festival as they hone their speeches, hoping for a coveted spot in the finals. Through interviews with the contestants and scenes of rehearsals and performances, the film reveals the deep connection the students make between King’s words and the world they live in."