Send Towson Debate to Harvard

We are Towson Debate"”Lenny Herrera (sophomore), Korey Johnson (sophomore), Ameena Ruffin (junior), and Kevin Whitley (junior)"”composed of students from the Baltimore and New York Urban Debate Leagues. We have worked tirelessly to make Towson University and the activity of policy debate accessible and beneficial for students from diverse backgrounds. As a team, we work closely with Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS), a local grassroots organization; our competitive success has been integral to our work with LBS as we have used the skills that we cultivate in debate to transform communities in Baltimore City. Our success has also allowed us to act as role models, positively influencing students in our cities.

In the 2012-2013 debate season, Lenny and Kevin became the first debaters of color to win the 45th Annual West Point Debate Tournament at the United States Military Academy. In January of 2013, Ameena became the first Black woman to win top speaker at the Fear and Loathing Tournament hosted by the University of Texas at Dallas. At the 67th National Debate Tournament, which both teams qualified for, Ameena and Korey became two of five Black women, in the history of the tournament, to ever make it into the "Sweet 16," the top sixteen teams out of 78 at the tournament, while Ameena became one of four Black women to be among the top 20 speakers of 156.

After a rough summer, where we struggled to sustain our team despite unwarranted threats of travel suspension and scholarship revocation, and changes in coaching staff, Towson Debate returned, making our first appearance of the 2013-2014 season at the Henry Clay Debates hosted by the University of Kentucky. At the tournament, Ameena and Korey finished among the top eight while Lenny and Kevin finished among the top sixteen of 148 teams; Korey, Ameena, and Kevin where among the top 30 speakers of 296 competitors, with Korey among the top 20.

Unfortunately, as we began reaching levels of success the team had not before seen, we were notified that our university would not be funding our travel to compete at the Harvard University Tournament. Given the importance of the tournament to our competitive success, and given the importance of our competitive success to the work that we do in our communities, we are seeking outside funding for our travel. We would greatly appreciate your help!

$1200- hotel
$1030- van/gas/tolls
$60- shuttle while in Cambridge
$420 meals
$490 tournament fees

October 21, 2013

Feel free to contact us!
Ameena Ruffin
[email redacted]

Kevin Whitley
[email redacted]


  • Maryrejahlil Lanier
    • $10 
    • 10 yrs


Kevin Whitley
Towson, MD

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