Application Window Opens for History-Making Harvard Debate Council

The Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project took the top prize at Harvard University’s prestigious summer debate tournament two years in a row. Now the window is open for more metro area students to be part of the history-making group.

Rising 8th – 11th graders in the metro area are eligible to apply for the initiative. Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.0. They should also be able to demonstrate previous leadership experience.

Brandon Fleming, Harvard University’s assistant debate coach, is the founder of the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project. He trains and helps minority youth to gain entry into the university’s prestigious summer residency.

Two students who have benefited from Fleming’s mentorship are Banneker High School’s Xavier Shankle and Westlake’s Keith Harris. The students have earned accolades and praise as members of the debate team. Additionally, both were recently featured panelists at Smart City Expo Atlanta where they addressed “Changing of the Guard: Millennial Voices Making Cities Smart.”

Julie Dexter, a parent whose daughter has participated in the project calls it “next level black excellence.” In a touching tribute that she penned she said, “I couldn’t ask for a better experience for my child.”

The deadline to apply for the Harvard Debate Council is March 31. Applications can be submitted at

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