Jayla Jackson and Emani Stanton. Photo Credit: Harvard Diversity Project

Jayla Jackson and Emani Stanton Win Big at Harvard’s Debate Competition


Jayla Jackson and Emani Stanton won the Harvard Debate Council’s debate competition with an undefeated record of 10-0.

Jackson will soon be a junior at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School and Stanton will soon be commencing her senior year at North Atlanta High School.

“#BlackGirlMagic We did it AGAIN! 🏆🏆🏆🏆 Our 4th consecutive championship win was brought home to Atlanta by Jayla & Emani with an #UNDEFEATED record as they became the FIRST EVER Black girl duo to win Harvard’s international debate competition against over one hundred debaters from around the world,” the Harvard Diversity Project wrote on Instagram.

“They have shown the world what’s possible when the playing field is leveled!”

Every summer since 2017, the Harvard Debate Council hosts the program for hundreds of international gifted and talented students, who are given the opportunity to reside on Harvard University’s campus for two weeks.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the competition was held virtually this year.

The debate’s topic was “Resolved: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization should substantially increase its defense commitments in the Baltic States.”

The program was founded by Harvard’s award-winning debate coach and author Brandon P. Fleming to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.

According to Black Business, in four years, Fleming has raised over $1 million to enroll more than 100 African-American students into the Harvard debate residency on full scholarship.

“The achievements of this program and our scholars reveals to the world the power of educational equity,” says Jackson.“We want to use our platform to show people what’s possible when the playing field is leveled for those who need it most.”

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