Public Statement of Support from Forensics

The leadership of AFA-NST, NFA, Pi Kappa Delta and Phi Rho Pi, came together to craft a statement of solidarity with the Black students and coaches in our shared memberships.

Four Forensic Families Stand in Solidarity

While we are daily facing and trying to overcome the challenges related to COVID-19 in a unified way, we are stopped in our tracks as we once again experience tragedy born of inequality. We cannot fully express our feelings of sadness, frustration and helplessness, or completely understand the pain and anger that so many in our community are feeling.The tragic deaths of George Floyd and many before him, serve as a reminder that, when it comes to communities of color we as a society have failed to live up to one of the founding pillars of this country; that all people are created equal and should be treated with respect and dignity.

To our Black competitors, coaches, judges, and friends who once again have witnessed the senseless and tragic killing of a Black man at the hands of law enforcement, know that the forensics community stands with you.

We will continue to fight for true equity within our community.

We will continue to fight for accessibility.

We will continue to fight for accountability.

But, most of all, we must continue to stand up when any member of our forensics community, or any member of a minority population, faces racism, bigotry, or oppression in any form.

We pledge together as four leading organizations in the forensics community to:

Provide standing resources for equity, diversity and inclusivity of all of our members;

Hold those who do exhibit racist, bigoted, or oppressive behavior accountable;

Create Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity training for competitors, coaches and judges;

Support our communities of color through mentorship of coaches, promoting diversity in our leadership, and celebrating the accomplishments of minorities in our historical awards.

But most importantly, we pledge to listen--honestly listen--to better ourselves as organizations that seek to uplift the voices and lives of those who are targeted by systemic violence.

Within the coming weeks we will continue to work in a collaborative manner to see what else we can do in support of those in our community who are currently in need of justice.

The American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament is an organization devoted to facilitating and celebrating speech education excellence at the intercollegiate level. The NIET is held every April and brings students from across the nation to compete for national championships in 11 events. Students reach the NIET through a rigorous at-large and district qualification system verified by organizational officers. Since 1978, the NIET has served hundreds of colleges and universities and thousands of students.

The 2020 AFA-NIET has been cancelled due to concerns over protecting the safety of our students. To read the full letter click here.

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