Saturday Open Thread

Good Morning…I hope that you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

Great Debaters – 25 Black Atlanta Students Chosen for Harvard Summer Program
by Robin White Goode
January 17, 2018

Twenty-five African American high school students from Atlanta are heading to Harvard this summer as part of the Harvard Debate Council’s residential summer program.

That’s according to the website Rolling Out.

The Art Institute of Atlanta, where the surprise announcement was made, awarded the students $10,500 in scholarship money to attend the prestigious program. An additional $88,000 needs to be raised to support the students’ tuition, room and board, and travel. Donate here.

Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project

I spoke with Brandon Fleming, founder and executive director of the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project, an Atlanta-based nonprofit developed as an African American feeder institution to Harvard’s elite debate program.

“I spend my summers teaching at Harvard,” Fleming explained, “which wanted a more diverse program. So I designed this diversity pipeline program and Harvard approved it.” The 25 students chosen on Sunday make up its inaugural cohort.

Fleming and his team sent word out to several school districts in the Atlanta area and received 150 applications from students in grades eight to 11 for the 25 slots.

“We did very little advertising. Students needed to complete an application that included a teacher recommendation and a one- to three-minute video speech.”

Once the 25 students were selected, they were invited to the Art Institute of Atlanta for what they thought was an in-person interview—the next stage in the application process. In fact, they had all been selected but didn’t know it.

“At first, we had a mix and mingle with community leaders. We wanted to evaluate their ability to be social. Then some students participated in a 15-minute speaking exercise, but because we couldn’t accommodate all of them, some didn’t get to speak, so they were distraught, thinking they had missed a chance to be evaluated.”

But soon Fleming told them to reach under their chairs for a T-shirt and folder and to huddle in the center of the room. Once the students opened their folders and saw Congratulations! there was euphoria all around, as well as a few tears. Confetti actually fell from the ceiling.

“It was really emotional for the students and parents,” Fleming told me.

The next six months the students will be in training with Fleming, Harvard‘s assistant debate coach and an undefeated former speech and debate middle school coach; as well as Harvard instructors who will fly down to train the students in critical thinking, analysis, research, and much more.

“Every leader must be able to think and persuade,” Fleming says. “Debate teaches that.”

This entry was posted in Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Excerpt from article at this link:

    Each year in the United States, millions of students graduate from high school and college, their diplomas certifying years spent studying the principles of science, mathematics, literature, and writing. These are the subjects we value as a society, and therefore we insist that our young people develop knowledge in these areas. Imagine if we graduated seniors who couldn’t read, or do simple math, or write basic paragraphs. Outrageous, right?

    Yet these very same students will graduate without ever once studying conflict resolution. During their entire academic career, they will never be required to take a course on making peace, building community, or forgiving an enemy. The principles of violence and nonviolence will not be analyzed, the philosophy of Dr. King will not be discussed, and satyagraha—the practice of nonviolent resistance, which Gandhi called the most powerful force in the universe—will remain ignored.

    Peace and justice are not utopian dreams but real and practical ways in which humans can live and affect the world around them.
    We are neglecting to teach our students the most fundamental and urgent lesson: how to make peace in the world around them. And by forgetting to do so, we are promoting violence. As my friend and fellow peace educator Colman McCarthy once said, “If we don’t teach our children peace, someone else will teach them violence.’’

    So each day, in the classrooms where I teach middle school, high school, and college students, I work to counter the violence, spark the conscience, and liberate the thinking mind. I teach peace.

  2. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    ” All 50 states have the power to prevent another Charlottesville, Georgetown Law research finds”

    ICAP found four kinds of laws that states can use to restrict or prohibit private militia and paramilitary groups at rallies, and every state has at least one of these in effect. The first, a “subordination clause,” requires all military activities to be governed by civil authorities. Forty-eight states have this clause in their constitutions. By definition, private armies and militias aren’t accountable to government power, so when they organize and drill in public, they’re violating their state’s constitutional law.

    Two other types of laws are statutes that specifically prohibit either unauthorized private militias or certain paramilitary activities. In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of states’ unauthorized militia restrictions in District of Columbia v. Heller, ICAP’s report notes. The court ruled that the Second Amendment “does not prevent the prohibition of private paramilitary organizations.” Courts in Texas successfully used the state statute banning private, unauthorized militias to prevent militia demonstrations by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1980s.

    The last kind of law states may have to regulate these groups is what’s called a “false assumption” statute. These laws criminalize “the false assumption of the duties of a law enforcement or peace officer,” the report states. So militias that attend rallies as an unofficial peacekeeping force, as some claimed to be in Charlottesville, do so in violation of those laws. Some false assumption statutes ban unauthorized wearing of military uniforms, or imitations that are close enough to be mistaken for the real thing.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Countdown Clock ⏰⏰:
    Six Days Until WAKANDA 😎😎🙌🙌

  4. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄

    • Ametia says:

      Good Morning, Rikyrah & 3Chics Family.

      Love this group of fine, young, black youth going to Harvard for the summer program. Congratulations them all! .

Leave a Reply