Initiative Spotlight - Vada Debate
Updated: Jan 10, 2021
At Equal Proposition, we want to feature other debate initiatives who are working towards the same goal of promoting accessibility. Our very first feature features our partner Vada Debate -- another B.C.-based debate organization. Below we have conducted an interview with its founder, Lucinda Gullison. The initiative has also been featured by Surrey Now-Leader.
Could you please provide a short bio about yourself?
I am a grade 11 student interested in math and the social sciences. In addition to debate, I do cross country running, jazz band, and skiing. I've been debating for six years and through it I have grown so much academically and socially, while having a lot of fun along the way.
What is Vada Debate and what does your organization do?
Vada Debate offers weekly debate classes for learners aged 8 and older. We have small classes that allow for individualized lessons, and debate a variety of topics based on the students' interests. We focus first on building general debate skills, before introducing our students to a variety of debate formats. Our primary goal is to make debate practice and quality coaching accessible to students across Canada for free.
What motivated you to start Vada?
I had to go to a boarding school just so I could be part of a competitive debate program. I recognize how difficult it is for so many students to access debate, so I started Vada to improve access for students who might not necessarily be able to afford private coaching or go to a school with a debate program. I have noticed a lack of geographic and socioeconomic diversity in the BC debate scene, and I hope to play a role in resolving this problem.
Is there any way for debaters to get involved with your organization? If so, how?
Any debater interested in teaching or assisting in a class can email us for an application form. We are also looking for people to be involved in the administration of our organization. As well, we really appreciate referrals to our website as we continue to welcome new debaters to our program.
Do you have any advice for debaters who are just starting out?
I would suggest focusing on learning from and enjoying what you are doing as opposed to worrying about the competitive aspect of debate. I would also stress that there is not just one correct style of speaking or formatting your ideas; you should embrace your personality and individuality when you speak. So many people have never learned any public speaking skills and could never fathom debating complex issues in front of other people, so I think any new debater should be proud of simply starting.
You can find Vada Debate here. Feel free to check out their lessons or find a way to contribute. And if you happen to have any type of initiative you'd like us to feature, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be more than happy to know more about it!