History Made: Two college students become first African American women to win 1st, 2nd place in debate history
Warning: EXCELLENT news ahead. Nadia Lewis and Jamila Ahmed made history when they became the first African-American women to win both first and second place in the Henry Clay Invitational Debates.
Held at the University of Kentucky, this marks the first time in the debate’s entire 42 year history.
The competition was established in 1971 and is one of the oldest and largest U.S. policy, varsity debate tournaments in America. This year, the Fresno State debate team competed against 286 speakers from 30 schools. Despite it being her first semester in debate, Lewis won first place among individual speakers. She is now ranked 29th in the nation. Ahmed is in her second year in debate and won second place and is now ranked 16th in the nation.
In U.S. policy debate, the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) chooses a topic. The topic is then voted on by all university debate members. Four resolutions are then drafted by CEDA for argument.
The topic for this year? “The U.S. Federal Government should substantially increase statutory and/or judicial restrictions on the war powers authority of the president of the United States in one or more of the following areas: cyber operations, indefinite detention, targeted killing such as drones, and deploying the armed forces into hostile places.”
Talk about amazing.
Congratulations to both Jamila Ahmed and Nadia Lewis on making history!