On Friday, April 19, the Eastern New York Correctional Facility hosted a debate competition between teams from the Bard Prison Initiative and the University of Cambridge. The BPI debate team successfully argued in defense of the topic, “This house believes that all states have a right to nuclear weapons.” In its coverage of the event, the Washington Post also profiled the BPI debate team, with a special focus on Reggie Chatman, one of the three competing members.
“Listen, with limited resources, human beings who have been counted out, who may have done some bad things, can do some great things,” he said.
Previously, in 2015, the BPI team had an underdog victory against Harvard’s debate team, making international headlines and drawing attention to the need for prison education programs. A PBS documentary featuring BPI’s debate program is slated to be released this fall.