This past weekend, the Washington Urban Debate League began its marathon of four tournaments in four weekends at the Bishop Guild Invitational at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. We were very excited to see former DuVal High School Debate Coach Omar Price, now a professor and Director of Debate at Alabama A&M University.
From the Program Coordinator, Dara Davis:
"Attending Samford was not only special because it was our first time debuting at this tournament but because of the rich Civil Rights History of Birmingham. We had wonderful rounds and were given such a warm welcome from all of our competitors and the Samford Debate team. During our trip, we got to visit the 16th Street Baptist Church, which was the site of a white supremacist bombing that instantly killed four African American girls. We also went to the Civil Rights History Museum, where we learned about the many civil rights activists that fought to end segregation in Birmingham. The Freedom Riders took a bus from Washington D.C. to Birmingham and some were killed attempting to make this trip but their bravery is what allowed us to be able to make that same trip without the fear of persecution. I will never forget the lessons we learned on this trip and I'm so glad that our students were able to experience it."
"My experience this past weekend was great. The first thing was the transportation, it was a new experience for me taking a plane to a debate tournament and my first time going to Alabama. Also the place we went to was very historical and interesting, Birmingham definitely proves how debate and advocacy skills play into real life and can be used to make you a better citizen" -- Junior Justin Sayoto
"My weekend at the Samford tournament was my most interesting tournament, both because of the debate tournament and because of the town of Birmingham. Debate wise, my partner and I had a fun competitive tournament debating against some of the top schools in the south. During the trip, we also had the opportunity to learn about the great history of Birmingham by visiting the Civil Rights museum and the 16th Street Baptist Church. This trip will certainly be memorable." -- Senior Ernest Ntangu