AKA AKAdemy to host its annual Great Debate

Last year’s debate

ST. PETERSBURG — The AKA AKAdemy in partnership with the Youth Development Foundation of Pinellas County, will host its second annual Great Debate at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 at the Palladium Theater, 253 5th Ave. N. The event is free and open to the public.

The family-friendly event is expected to bring more than 300 guests in attendance. During the program, middle and high school students will have an opportunity to debate two topics:

  • Should an embryo be considered a human life?
  • Should a person be required to use a public restroom according to the gender of their birth or the gender they currently identify with?

“We are excited to present the debate program again,” said Chairwoman Dr. Delphinia Davis. “This is a valuable learning opportunity for our AKAdemy students. Our middle and high school students have worked vigorously preparing responses to controversial topics, which expands their critical thinking skills and public speaking abilities.”

Davis said they have incorporated debating as one of the foundation’s signature programs because of its importance in helping students develop skills that enable them to be more engaged citizens, discuss current political and global issues, understand opposing views, cooperate with others, make informed decisions and think critically.

“These skills are helpful not only in their academic lives, but it teaches them how to have constructive discussions as well as the opportunity to test their thoughts and viewpoints against that of their peers,” stated Davis.

Throughout the process, students have learned to argue opposing viewpoints effectively, which encourages them to utilize questioning, reasoning, critical thinking and logic skills.  The debate coaches have also challenged each student to intellectually engage with relevant material that promotes problem-solving and innovative thinking in addition to helping students build links between words and ideas that makes concepts more meaningful.

Coaches for the middle school teams include James Jackson III, a member of Eta Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Brandi Williams-Miller, a member of Zeta Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  Coaches for the high school teams include Ste’Phan Lane, a member of Eta Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Sandra Patterson, a member of Zeta Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

For more information, visit www.ZUOChapter.org.

About Youth Development Foundation

The Youth Development Foundation of Pinellas County, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, established by the local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. to provide programming activities that will enhance the quality of life for targeted youth and families in Pinellas County. Our programming focuses on education and scholarships, health, the arts, the family unit and fosters economic and community development.

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