First-Ever Black Girl Duo Wins Harvard’s International Debate Competition
Photo Credit: Harvard Diversity Project

First-Ever Black Girl Duo Wins Harvard’s International Debate Competition

Two Black girl scholars are being celebrated for going above and beyond for their debate team.

According to Black Enterprise, 16-year-old Jayla Jackson and 17-year-old Emani Stanton have been honored by the Harvard Debate Council for being the first-ever Black girl duo to take home the grand prize title for the team.

“Our 4th consecutive championship win was brought home to Atlanta by Jayla & Emani with an #UNDEFEATED record as they became the FIRST EVER Black girl duo to win Harvard’s international debate competition against over one hundred debaters from around the world,” the Harvard Diversity Project said on their official Instagram account. “They have shown the world what’s possible when the playing field is leveled!”

Jayla and Emani are part of Harvard University’s Harvard Diversity Project, which was founded in 2017 by coach and author Brandon Fleming. The Atlanta-based Diversity Project is, according to its official mission statement, meant to “promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.”

The Harvard Debate Council is one of the Ivy League’s oldest organizations on campus. Each year, they host a summer residential program to help high school students hone their debate skills, which is where Jayla and Emani first met, and debated together.

This year — as with the previous year — the Debate Council had to uphold more restrictive measures due to COVID-19. But that didn’t stop these ladies from kicking butt on the debate floor! Check out the Instagram post below, where you can see them in action.

Their debate topic, appropriately, was whether NCAA athletes should be paid, and they quite successfully argued that they should (and should they ever).

Congratulations are in order for these ladies, and we can’t wait to see what they do next!