I created this blog to widen the conversations that began on a closed Facebook group populated by those who consider themselves part of the coalition of debaters, coaches, and academics interested in a critical interrogation of privilege, representation and epistemology within the space of competitive policy debate. The activism within the community and the ensuing responses have sometimes been angry and frustrating, but such conversations have also produced growth and change. I will occasionally offer thoughts on issues in debate as I think through the development of my own theories of debate and radical activism. However, I invite the debate community and those interested in youth social activism to join the conversation, either with questions or posts. Your posts can be sent to me at srb@pitt.edu. I will then add them to the blog. Please edit your posts to limit the amount of time I spend attempting to fix mistakes. Also, please remember that your post may be read widely by members of the debate community and that our goal is to engage in a productive conversation. Any posts not adhering to these general guidelines may be rejected. It is not my intention that this blog be used as evidence in debate competitions. Instead, I seek for those who are interested in the conversations on the page, to learn, grow and engage the arguments made on this page, in the development of their individual arguments. My goal is to influence the debate conversation (which includes competition) by providing a space to consider the community’s competitive practices and its sociality. However, simply reading “evidence” from this blog is not the best educational use of any information contained within.

Dr. Shanara R. Reid-Brinkley

Assistant Professor and Director of Debate

Department of Communication

University of Pittsburgh


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