Diversity Initiative

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The APDA Diversity Initiative (DI) was founded in 2015 to raise awareness of and to combat issues faced by people of color on the league, as well as to give back to our respective communities. DI seeks to empower all racial and ethnic minorities in the APDA community, to educate the APDA community about the problems they face, and to pursue a climate of equal opportunity for all races and ethnicities. Our current and past projects include a guide to opportunities for teaching debate in disenfranchised areas, a guide on how to recruit and retain debaters of color, and multiple reflection and discussion space workshops at tournaments. Additionally, plans are in motion to enhance the ways that we collect and use demographic data on APDA.

While DI’s focus is on issues of race and ethnicity, our mission is intersectional. We stand with our APDA community members who are of low socioeconomic status, who have social, emotional, or learning disabilities, who identify as religious minorities, and who come from nontraditional family structures. Moreover, we seek to empower youth through debate, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

For any questions, concerns, or comments regarding DI, feel free to contact either of the two chairs or the board liaison. Their contact information is listed below.

  • Jay Gibbs (Chair) – jcgibbs@uchicago.edu
  • Patricia Ong (Chair) – patriciajaneong@gmail.com
  • Drew Harrington (Board Liaison) – drewh@uchicago.edu

Additionally, if you are looking to hybrid or give feedback, use the links below: