Monday, October 27, 2008

The NAACP Youth Debate team continues to grow!!!

Just 3 months ago, in late July, the NAACP Youth council held it's first debate in a small conference room. Since that day, the NAACP Debate team has grown steadily with each passing week. Beginning with only 5 youth, the Debate team has now grown to 23 members ranging in age from 9 through 17.

The Debate team meets weekly at our Branch office and debates topics chosen by the youth themselves. Each week, as one debate finishes, the youth choose their topics for the following debate and they each have the next week to research and prepare. The children don't know which side of the proposition they will have to argue so they are all forced to research both the affirmative and negative positions. The sides and teams are determined on-site by coin toss.

Each week, we invite different community and civic leaders to come to the debates and serve as a guest Judge. Our Judging panel has included School Board member Betty Arnold, City Councilwoman Lavonta Williams, Jazz Musician Sterling Gray, Black Arts Festival Vice President Terry Toney, and most recently State Senator Donald Betts.

The children debate using a three-round Karl Popper format and are judged for logical consistency, delivery, the quality of their facts, their ability to effectively cross-examine, and their ability to spot and expose logical fallacies. Examples of some of our recent Debate topics include:

  • Proposition: Children in USD259 should be required to wear uniforms to school
  • Question: Should children under 16 be allowed to carry cell phones?
  • Proposition: School Resource Officers in USD259 should be allowed to conduct random searches of students and their property to look for drugs and weapons.
  • Proposition: the City of Wichita should enact an ordinance against "sagging".

The NAACP Youth Group is open to all children between the ages of 9 and 17. If you have a child who would be interested in joining the NAACP Youth Group and participating on the Debate Team, the Chess team, or the Praise Dance team; or if you would like to serve as a guest judge for one of the debates, please send us an email at

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