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Commitment to Diversity

While the Barkley Forum has experienced remarkable competitive success in the last two decades, the Forum has also remained committed to making debate opportunities available to those denied and deterred from participating in prior eras. In particular, the Forum has remained committed to the increased participation of women in debate.

Susan Cahoon was the first woman to represent Emory in the elimination rounds of the NDT in 1967, marking the beginning of an era in which Emory women would compete in the elimination rounds of the NDT more than ten times, culminating in Kate Shuster's 1996 national championship. Eight women have won national championships while at Emory including Susan Cahoon, (DSR-TKA, 1967) Kate Schuster, (NDT champion with David Heidt, 1996), Kenya Hansford (American Debate Association [ADA] champion with Anjan Sahni, 1997), Anne Marie Todd (CEDA champion with Vic Tabak, Dan Fitzmier and Stephen Heidt, 1997), Rania Nassredine (ADA champion with Scott Phillips, 2002), Vicki Suarez-Palomo (ADA champion with Mike Greenstein, 2005), and Aimi Hamraie and Julie Hoehn (first all women NDT champions, 2007, photo below).

The Barkley Forum has also encouraged the growth of female participation in debate by supporting workshops for women in debate, publishing materials for coaching women in debate, mentoring female coaches at the high school and collegiate level, and providing scholarships for young women to attend the Emory National Debate Institute.