[eDebate] Invitation to Critical Reflection

Ede Warner ewarner
Fri Dec 7 10:13:30 CST 2007

Hello to all who love debate,
Past CEDA President Dave Steinberg asks us to consider self-reflection as a result of the timeliness of the Christmas release of the "Great Debaters".  While we haven't seen the movie, we concur with Dave that the content of the movie creates the opportunity to reconsider our collective purpose and the means for achieving that purpose.  One start for current members of NDT and CEDA is this:  to consider the possibility that the last seven years we have already experienced, albeit in different ways, many connections to the past highlighted in the film.  The collective journey of our various experiences with what has been called, "the Louisville Project" started the introspection long ago.  At Louisville, the culmination of our experiences in this process have resulted in the attached document, the Louisville Multi-cultural Policy Organizing With Emancipatory Rhetoric (MPOWER) Treatise.  We hope that our proposal helps to focus the dialogue that can be generated if the community is truly willing to use the history of Black debate societies as a starting point of reflection about our collective past, present, and future.
As we at Louisville begin on this segment of our journey, we look forward to dialogue not only with current members of CEDA and the NDT, but also with members of the AFA, ADA, NEDA, NPDA, NFA, IDEA, IOA, DSR-TKO, Phi Rho Pi, the Great Western Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, UDL's, the Barbara Jordan league, the NFL, Parliamentary Debate, the multi-tude of world debate organizations, and every other past and present debate organization.  We also feel it's important to dialogue with our past, the alumni who have participated in debate.  Finally, we hope our dialogue extends to administrators, potential funders, and those with a similar interest and love for debate.  We offer this treatise as a starting point to understand and respect our differences while potentially finding a relationship in our similarities.  We ask that people circulate this document freely and support ways to productively move the conversation forward.  We recognize that our document provides only a starting point and certainly not an end.  And we hope that end point includes productive change that works for all participants.  
I want to give a special thanks to all the folks that offered their input on preliminary drafts of this document, and in particular, recognize our program coordinator, Tiffany Dillard and her assistant, Mary C. Mudd, for their work to create the most persuasive document we could imagine.  Thanks for your assistance.
Humbly submitted with love and a belief that debate can change the world,
from the University of Louisville Malcolm X Debate Society
Ede Warner, Jr.
Director of Debate Society/Associate Professor of Communication
University of Louisville
308E Strickler Hall
e0warn01 at gwise.louisville.edu 
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