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Inclusion Commitments for 2019-2020 by Amy Seidelman


he NSDA remains extremely committed to its diversity and inclusion efforts. We strive to provide the leadership our community needs and wants in this area. In her letter on page 8, Board President Pam Cady Wycoff shares our recent adoption of equity, along with respect, as organizational values to build even further upon our prior value of inclusion. This year’s commitments are still very inclusion-oriented, but the work to define equity for the NSDA described below will become a guidepost for what we hope to call equity commitments in years to come. This 2019-2020 school year started off with the Glenn Singleton workshop Courageous Conversations, attended by staff, Board, and NSDA members and ignited an even deeper sense of the gravity and importance of this work. The Board of Directors took that work further at the Fall Board Meeting, and equity became the focus of the organization’s inclusion strategy. What we’ve learned, along with the ever-valuable feedback of the Coaches’ Caucuses that meet each year at the National Tournament, has led the following commitments for this school year.



The NSDA will update organizational core documents to reflect the value of equity. • Review the organization’s mission, vision, and codes to determine where and how to best solidify equity’s place in the guiding statements about our organizational purpose.

The NSDA will highlight, continue to refine, and promote best practices for diversity, inclusion, and equity within the speech and debate community. • Continue to promote safe and inclusive tournaments through modeling and sharing of best practices, communication with tournament hosts, and awareness-building around harassment and discrimation, pronoun use, dress codes, all gender restrooms, use of a tournament equity officer, and more.

• Collect, curate, and promote best practices for recruiting, coaching, and mentoring individuals from traditionally marginalized and disenfranchised communities. • Continue to promote cultural competency training for judges using our materials developed with the National Federation of High School Assocations (NFHS), and solicit more feedback on future improvements to that training.

The NSDA will strive for leadership at all levels that represents the diversity of our speech and debate community. • The Board of Directors will continue to recruit and consider appointed Board members from traditionally marginalized and disenfranchised communities when openings occur. • District Committees have been offered the opportunity to appoint a sixth member from an underrepresented community or school in their district. • Tabroom.com training documentation and inperson instruction will be made available, to help more individuals gain leadership roles in tab rooms. The National Speech & Debate Tournament tab room staff

Profile for Speech & Debate

2019 November/December Rostrum  

Volume 94 Issue 2

2019 November/December Rostrum  

Volume 94 Issue 2