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Dear Pepperdine community,
The Pepperdine Debate Team seeks to cultivate a space in which individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives can come together to debate ideas, foster civic engagement and nurture the robust type of discourse necessary for a healthy democracy. We believe we can only grow as individuals and as Christians when we invite ourselves into the tense space born of the friction of opposing, yet deeply held, beliefs and ideas.
We wholeheartedly support educational projects that seek to shed new light on our collective history, include marginalized voices in our understanding of our shared narratives and seek to actively listen and respond to those who lack power in any facet of society. Because we value critical inquiry, we do not accept that dominant, historically privileged or racially blind narratives are inherently accurate, valuable, complete or unharmful.
We reject the idea that one narrative is the “True American” narrative and that dissenting voices should be labeled “radical,” “anti-American,” “Leftist” or “indoctrination.” We reject and disavow any communication that uses such uncritical, dangerous and anti-educational rhetoric. By its nature, debate creates a space for dissenting voices.
We recognize that perspectives which call into question dominant cultural narratives can make some people uncomfortable. We hope, like debaters, people in the Pepperdine community will embrace that discomfort as a means to realize larger truths rather than run into the more comfortable shelter of ignorance or denial that undermines democracy, inclusion, critical thought and personal or growth collective growth. Most importantly, we always affirm the humanity and value of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Pepperdine Debate Executive Board
Hannah Kate Albach