Atlanta, GA (September 8, 2022) – Harvard Debate, Inc. and the nationally-acclaimed Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project (HDCDP) are proud to jointly announce the next phase of HDCDP’s growth and scale as the Veritas Debate Institute, an independent program of The Veritas School of Social Sciences.
For five incredible years, Harvard Debate, Inc. and the Harvard Debate Council have been honored to sponsor the HDCDP, an initiative founded in 2017 to help increase diverse student representation at the Harvard Debate Council’s Summer Workshops at Harvard College. HDCDP has been widely lauded for its impact on Black youth for its training of over 100 teens in Atlanta and their outstanding performance at the Harvard Debate Council’s annual summer residential program. HDCDP scholars have won the tournament championship at the end of the program for five consecutive years.
HDCDP’s impact, mission, and programming have grown to reach far beyond our campus. Educators nationwide have sought training from HDCDP to better understand educational equity. Major corporations have engaged HDCDP to train their business executives in the art of critical thinking and communication. Hundreds of students across Metro Atlanta apply to HDCDP each year in hopes of being accepted into the program, and hundreds more in cities around the country are in need of HDCDP’s transformative curriculum. As the program continues to thrive and the national demand continues to rise, HDCDP recognizes that now is the time to scale.
Brandon P. Fleming, award-winning author, educator, and founder of HDCDP and The Veritas School of Social Sciences states that the wide demand for the program compelled him and his team to do more. Fleming says, “As I travel around the world touring and speaking, the most common question I get from people in cities across the nation, “Is there any way that our youth can benefit from your program, too?” I am so thrilled to finally be able to smile at them and tell them yes.” Fleming adds, “When you’ve discovered a proven solution, you have the responsibility to get it into the hands of as many people as possible. With five years of unparalleled success, scaling, for us, is not just a choice – it’s our responsibility.”
Dr. Tripp Rebrovick, Coach of Debate at Harvard College and Director of the Harvard Debate Council, remarks about the transition, “We were honored to have Mr. Fleming as an assistant debate coach for five years of history-making achievement. As we look back on the accomplishments of the past five years, we feel pride, respect for the hard work and talent of the HDCDP students, Mr. Fleming, and the leadership team, and a little sadness as we acknowledge that the project has outgrown its home here at the Harvard Debate Council. The world needs what they have, and we are proud to assist Brandon Fleming, Kellye Britton, and the board of directors as they lead the Veritas Debate Institute as an independent entity. We look forward to continuing our work with the Veritas Debate Institute and welcoming its students to the Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshops for many years to come.”
The Veritas School of Social Sciences springs ahead toward the next phases of its strategic development plan. In phase one, the Veritas Debate Institute (formerly HDCDP) will continue to operate as a weekly Saturday school that culminates with attendance at the Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshops. In the second phase of scale (projected Fall 2024), Veritas will launch its day school for students in Metro Atlanta. In Phase 3 (projected Fall 2028) Veritas will scale internationally as one of the first secondary boarding schools in the world for multicultural people of color.