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The Barkley Forum, Emory University's national champion debate program, will present the Georgia Speaker of the Year Award at its annual awards banquet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1. Gov. Roy Barnes was selected for the 2000 award for the effectiveness of his ongoing speeches on education in Georgia, as well as his education policies. In his acceptance speech he is expected to address the issues of education reform and the flag resolution.

"He represents the embodiment of effective speech," says Shannon Feldman, Barkley Forum director of operations.

Previous recipients include President Jimmy Carter, former U.N. Ambassador and civil rights leader Andrew Young, U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, late Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Lewis Grizzard and CNN founder Ted Turner. Barnes is the 34th honoree since the award was introduced in 1967.

Students and coaches from urban debate leagues in Chicago, New York City, Washington, Baltimore, Kansas City, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., will be featured guests at the banquet. More than a dozen urban debate leagues patterned after the Atlanta Urban Debate League founded by the Barkley Forum have been established in the last three years through funding from the Open Society Institute.

The banquet kicks off a three-day national high school debate tournament, the 46th Barkley Forum for High Schools, Feb. 2-4. About 1,200 students, principals and teachers from roughly 200 schools as far away as Oregon and Washington state will journey to Emory to participate in the tournament.

The Barkley Forum sports the reigning national collegiate debate champions from last year's National Debate Tournament. Jon Paul Lupo and Mike Horowitz won the 2000 national debate tournament last year as seniors. The pair, both of whom graduated last May, will be honored as well.

Lupo and Horowitz made up one of three Emory debate teams to compete at the tournament, and all were ranked in the top three going into the final round. That was the first time any university had put together such a strong contingent. "We had a phenomenal year," says Feldman. "We have a lot to celebrate."

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