Log in Subscribe

Livingstone College HBCU Debate Tour an inspiring success


Livingstone College hosted The Great Debate HBCU Tour featuring Hampton and Howard universities on Monday, Feb. 12, at 10 a.m. in Bishop James Varick Auditorium. In Livingstone College’s inaugural year of serving as host, the institution extended invitations to high schools throughout the state to partake in the grand experience whereas Salisbury Academy, Gray Stone Day School, and East Mecklenburg High were a few who answered the call.

The event showcased an exhibition parliamentary-style debate with two resolutions: Resolution No. 1: Any persons engaged in an insurrection against the United States should be banned from holding an elected office, and Resolution No. 2: The House believes the use of song lyrics for criminal prosecution is unconstitutional.

With two completely different styles of presentation, the teams filled and commanded the room with academic prowess, massive energy, professionalism, and poise; elevating, exposing, and inspiring both high school and college students to engage in social, cultural, and political issues of the day. Meredith Williams of Salisbury Academy said, “Thank you so very much for the invitation and warm hospitality. The Salisbury Academy Upper School students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and came back to school debating one another and reading from the amendments of the Constitution all day long! We had been working to establish a debate team and this event gave us a springboard into action.”

Livingstone College students felt the fire, too. Over 50 students have officially expressed an interest in the inaugural debate team that will kick off its activities after spring break with faculty Dr. Da’Tarvia Parrish as coach. Freshman Livingstone student Kielee Jones stated, “It is important to have a space that cultivates performance. I am fired up and ready to go.”

Hampton University’s team is led by Dean of Student Achievement Mikael L. Davis and includes senior communication science and disorders major of Long Island, New York Alena Thotam, a political science major and economics minor Philip Haynie IV of Reedville, Virginia, criminal justice and pre-law track major of Detroit, Michigan Arieana Neal, and Stephen Shields of Hackensack, New Jersy who is also a criminal justice major on the pre-law track.

Howard University’s team is under the leadership of communications professor Angela D. Minor, Esq. The team members are Charlye Jackson a senior legal communications major and community development from Houston, Texas, Shelby Brunson, a junior sociology major and Afro-American studies minor from Orlando, Florida, Julian Szyszka, a senior International Business major from Chicago, Illinois, and Robert Kelly, affectionately known as “Khalil,” a sophomore honors finance major with a strategic legal communications minor from Washington, DC.

Livingstone College plans to attend the 2024 National HBCU Speech and Debate Championship hosted by Howard University and will compete in the upcoming 2025 competition.

Livingstone College, HBCU Debate Tour, inspiring success


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here