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ERIC Number: ED401579
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
If There Is a Problem, We Didn't Cause It.
Strange, Bennett
In the past, there was no cry for diversity in academic debate because the exercise was strong enough to attract participants on its own merits. The professional fields of law, ministry, politics, and broadcasting were resplendent with former debaters. If there is a current lack of diversity in the forensic community, the debate community did not create it and the solution is to be found elsewhere. One survey of 50 programs showed that only one squad was totally male and 35.5% of the reported squad members were female. Another indicated that out of 64 schools, 5.78% of the debaters were African-Americans, compared to a 8.66% black student population. Those who see a problem with the current multicultural makeup of the forensic community offer such solutions as: (1) more African-American coaches; (2) more dedicated debate scholarships for minorities; and (3) more community involvement to attract attention. A change in the perception of inequality must come from the students themselves. Diversity is not the problem but the symptom, and evidence does not support the charge that the community created that symptom. The goal should be not to reach out to specific student blocks, but to the entire student population. (Contains 17 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A