“It was a surprise acceptance, and once we were accepted we went through a summer enrichment program and that August is when our year-round training began,” Webb told Fox 5 News.
Brandon Fleming, Harvard’s assistant debate coach, started the Atlanta program as an educational equity initiative for the school.
The Atlanta program recruits about 25 Black youths each year. Fleming trains the teens to compete against gifted kids from around the world.
“I told them that I wanted to build a bridge and provide an opportunity for black students to learn at Harvard in the summer,” Fleming told Fox 5.
The coronavirus pandemic forced this year’s competition and recruiting process to be done virtually. The 2021 team has already been selected and will begin training in August.
“The message I want to send to black kids all around the world, despite all the racial stereotypes and no matter who or what tries to limit you — there’s always someone rooting for your success on the other side. And that for us was our community here in Atlanta,” Webb told Fox 5. “So the only thing missing from the equation was opportunity and that’s what the Harvard Diversity project stands for.”