Atlanta Teens Make History As First Black Girl Duo To Triumph In Harvard’s International Debate Competition

by Gee NY

In a groundbreaking achievement, a duo of Black girls from Atlanta has etched their names in history by clinching victory at Harvard University’s prestigious annual summer debate competition in 2021.

Jayla Jackson, 16, representing Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, and Emani Stanton, 17, from North Atlanta High School, scripted a remarkable triumph, emerging as the first-ever Black girl duo to secure the championship with an unbeaten record of 10-0.

Creating history, Jayla Jackson and Emani Stanton clinched the top spot at Harvard’s summer debate competition, boasting an impressive undefeated record of 10-0!

The Harvard Debate Council’s debate competition, held annually since 2017, witnessed a watershed moment as these talented teens shattered barriers with their remarkable achievements.

Each summer, Harvard University plays host to hundreds of high school students hailing from across the globe who gather to engage in rigorous study and compete in the program-wide debate tournament.

Despite the challenges posed by the virtual format enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the students affiliated with the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project showcased their exceptional skills, securing victory for the fourth consecutive year.

This year’s debate topic, “Resolved: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization should substantially increase its defense commitments in the Baltic States,” provided a platform for spirited exchanges and critical analysis among participants.

With their historic win, Jayla Jackson and Emani Stanton have not only made their mark in the annals of academic excellence but have also paved the way for aspiring debaters, particularly Black girls, to pursue their dreams with determination and vigor.

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