Veritas Debate Institute

Who Are We?

Since 2017, all six Veritas cohorts have won the international debate competition at Harvard for six consecutive years.

Veritas Debate Institute (formerly Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project) is the award-winning flagship program of Veritas. Veritas Debate Institute (VDI) is our one-year introductory program, which students must successfully complete in order to gain access to the subsequent Veritas programs such as Veritas Corporate Immersion, Veritas Global Travel, and Veritas Career Readiness. VDI is a pre-collegiate weekly Saturday school that exposes Metro Atlanta youth to college-level social sciences such as philosophy, political science, sociology, rhetoric, debate, and many more. VDI concludes with a summer residential program at Harvard where Veritas students study for two weeks alongside hundreds of gifted youth worldwide and compete in an international academic debate competition.

As a result of our one-year preparatory training, Veritas scholars have one the Harvard international competition for six consecutive years. Additionally, our scholars’ training and achievements have positioned them to earn acceptance into the most prestigious colleges & universities in the world.


VDI seeks to develop the young social and political voice through our 3 pillars:


An incubator for academic excellence
Our goal is to train citizens and leaders of the world, which requires global consciousness.
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A launchpad for young leaders
The fact that young people do not have a vote in elections does not mean they shouldn’t have a voice.
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A hub for cultural pride
We seek to cultivate cultural ambassadors that reform the meaning of scholarship into one that is appealing and accessible to black youth.
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Priorities & Outcomes

Social Justice

Repairing the systemic breach of equality

Educational Equity

Leveling the playing field through access

Economic Mobility

Creating generational wealth through education

College & Workforce Readiness

Making Black and brown youth competitive for success

Academic Superiority

Turning students into scholars Youth Leadership


Training the next generation of equitable, servant-leaders

Arts & Culture

Centering the art of debate & public speaking for creative expression

Through educational equity, we are leveling the playing field for Black and brown youth, creating economic mobility, and closing the racial wealth gap by:

Providing Black and brown youth access to a full year of college-level training

Providing Black and brown access to a summer residency at Harvard

Positioning Black and brown youth for acceptance into elite colleges and universities

Developing Black and brown youth for high-earning positions in the workforce

Training Black and brown youth to give back to their community through service

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Making a Difference?

Our Impact

Class of 2018

Class of 2019

Class of 2020

Class of 2021

Class of 2022

Class of 2023

Class of 2024

Over 150 Atlanta Students + Ivy League & Elite Education =

Collective Earning Potential of 10,000,000/yr. in 25 years…

2500 Students = $2.5 BILLION in the Black and Brown Communities



What People Say

The online application for our next cohort of students will open in March 1, 2024.  Subscribe here to be notified when applications open

    • Students in grades 8-11 are qualified to participate in our program.
    • Students must live in Metro Atlanta
    • Minimum 3.0 preferred
    • Leadership experience preferred
    • Application will require a teacher recommendation
    • Application will require a current academic transcript
    • Application will require students to submit a 1-3 minute video presentation
    • Students DO NOT need debate experience

This program is designed to give a voice to students of color who aspire to be world leaders and social entrepreneurs.  The program is ideal for high achieving students who desire to be challenged beyond standard high school curricula and seek to make a difference in the world by enacting social and political change.tent

The commitment for this program is high and must take precedent over all other extra-curricular activities. The academic portion of the program requires students to attend sessions every Saturday from August through June.  These training sessions are critical to ensure that students are academically prepared for the rigors of the Harvard summer residency.

Academic sessions are rigorous and interactive.  Students will receive enhanced academic training in disciplines centered on critical thinking, research, and debate.  Students will attend lectures from Harvard Debate Council instructor, during which they will be highly trained in public speaking & argumentation and will debate critical social & political issues.  Other activities include opportunities where students may practice their debate skills in public arenas such as the Georgia Capitol, Atlanta City Hall, law firms, courtrooms, etc.

The VDI has a tuition that is made affordable for all students that are accepted into the program.  Financial aid is provided to all students that demonstrate need.

No. This program is designed for students seeking to gain a competitive-edge for any undergraduate program that they might pursue. Top-tiered colleges & universities are looking for students that not only have excellent grades but also exhibit leadership acumen. This program provides students with an enhanced resume and the leadership experience that colleges are looking for.

No.  While this program will enhance a student’s college application, it does not guarantee acceptance into Harvard, nor any other post-secondary institution.  The program does, however, guarantee acceptance into the Harvard Debate Council’s summer residential program, not the university’s undergraduate program.

Yes.  This program is for students that would like an opportunity to study at the Harvard Debate Council’s summer residential program.

Students will live on campus and study at the Harvard Debate Council for two weeks in July.