Team to debate identity


Sabrina de Brito

The upper school debate team will host a public debate with Team USA on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 18.

During the debate, participants will debate “identity, protest and the future of the struggle for civil rights” from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Rugby Auditorium. The event is open to the public and will feature a debate on the resolution “this house believes that the politics of individual identity threaten the future Civil Rights movement.”

Team USA, the national debate team that represents the Unites States at the World Schools Debating Championships, will argue this topic in front of a panel of judges and a public audience. Team members will discuss the role of universities, sports and media during the Civil Rights Movement.

The judge panel will feature judges with expertise in law, civil rights and various media industries, including Kenya Barris, creator of television shows “Black-ish” and “America’s Next Top Model”; Jeffrey Harleston, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for Universal Music Group; Anne Haley Brown, Managing Assistant Attorney of the City of Los Angeles; Douglas E. Mirell, Vice President of the Southern California ACLU; and Kimberly West-Faulcon, the James P. Bradley Chair in Constitutional Law at Loyola Law School.

A discussion on civil rights in general and issues raised during the debate is scheduled to follow judging.

Recent debate accomplishments at the 82nd Annual Puget Sound High School Forensics Tournament in Washington on Saturday and Sunday include Indu Pandey ’18 winning top speaker. She and Connor Engel ’17 made it to octofinals, and William Park ’17 made it to double octofinals.

At the Cougar Classic New Year Swing in Texas on the same weekend, Matthew Gross ’19 made it to octofinals, and Jake Davidson ’19 and Nick Platt ’19 made it to double octofinals.

The Harvard-Westlake International Public Policy Forum team moved on to the next round in the International Public Policy Forum essay-style debate competition Dec. 17, securing themselves a spot in the top 32.

The team of Jesse Nadel ’17, Alison Gorokhovsky ’17, Dario Madyoon ’17 and Kevin Wesel ’17 advanced to the next stage of the competition after defeating Scottsdale Prep, a high school in Arizona.

At the College Prep Lincoln-Douglas Invitational Dec. 19-20 in Oakland, Evan Engel ’17 was named 34th-best speaker, Matthew Gross ’19 was ranked 53rd and Lauren Morganbesser ’19 was ranked 55th.

The USA Debate team, which includes Liz Yount ’17, won first place at the Winter Holidays Open in Croatia that ran Dec. 18-20. The final round took place in an auditorium with about 400 spectators.

“You’re so familiar with debate, but then you go to this other country and there are other people who are using their own languages and cultures and are debating too,” Yount said.

At the Alta Silver and Black tournament in Utah Dec. 3-5, Pandey received her first bid and closed out the competition with Connor Engel. Both debaters won first place in their respective brackets. Evan Engel ’17 also received a bid at the tournament.