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African American Teens Make History With 3rd Consecutive Win at Harvard Debate Competition

For the third year in a row, a team of African American students known as The Atlanta Great Debaters, have made history for themselves and the community. 

The Atlanta-based #HarvardDiversityProject brings home the championship from Harvard’s international debate competition, which was held virtually this year. They defended and won the championship which was held virtually this year because of COVID-19, they competed against students from more than 25 countries. 

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🏆🏆🏆 For the 3rd consecutive year, the Atlanta-based #HarvardDiversityProject brings home the championship from Harvard’s international debate competition, which was held virtually this year. Madison & Christian secured the victory, making history as the first Black girl and the youngest Black boy to win the tournament. During the final round, the judge panel declared their #3peat victory with a perfect 5-0 winning ballot. #HarvardDiversityProject #BlackAtHarvard #ScholarshipMeetsCulture #BlackGirlMagic #BlackExcellence #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTeachers #BlackEducators #BlackScholars #BlackLeaders #BlackThinkers #BlackBooks #BlackAuthors #BlackCulture #BlackJoy #BlackLove #Atlanta #AtlantaLife #AtlantaGreatDebaters

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As the entire team is being recognized for doing “an awesome job,” Senior Madison Webb, the first African American female student, and sophomore Christian Flournoy, the youngest African American male student, secured the victory, 11 Alive reported.

In the last few years, the Harvard Diversity Project recruited a cohort of talented Black youth out of an applicant pool of hundreds throughout Metro Atlanta. The program seeks students that have never been exposed to academic debate.

On Saturdays, students undergo a rigorous 10-month training regimen, where they are introduced to debate through the exploration of academic fields and disciplines that foster critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, public speaking, and argumentation.

The program normally culminates with a summer residency at Harvard College, where students study academic debate alongside and compete against hundreds of gifted scholars from around the world. However, this year, it was all done online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The end goal of the Harvard Diversity Project ( is to promote educational equity by creating opportunities for underserved youth to gain exposure and access to academic training that will distinguish them as top candidates in the college admissions process.

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