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STAY Woke Speech and Debate Competition 2020

By Anna Galaktionov

The annual STAY Woke Speech and Debate Competition, sponsored by The Buccaneer, is a wonderful opportunity to professionally develop public speaking skills and learn about and debate on social justice issues.

Staying woke means to be a critical thinker rather than passively siding with the general public and speaking passionately about the problems in today’s policy, identity, government, culture, institutions, etc.

As part of our mission at Barry, students will be given the opportunity to truly articulate their positions on issues of social justice.

This year’s debate will address the following topics:

1. In the pursuit of a college education, virtual learning is superior to face-to-face learning. 

  • YES or NO

2. Professional sports organizations have the power to affect change within society’s racial inequities. 

  • YES or NO

3. Floridians should be allowed to enjoy open spaces without masks. 

  • YES or NO

4. In spoken and written language, Latinx should replace the word Latino/a in 2020.

  • YES or NO

5. The governor’s new “combating violence, disorder and looting enforcement act” should be made a Florida law. 

  • YES or NO

6. In today’s America, we must fight to defund the police. 

  • YES or NO

The student speakers will take a YES or NO stand on the topics provided, go through an audition, and if accepted, will then give a 5 to 7-minute-long speeches at the competition.

This year the competition will be held on November 19thin the David BrinkleyStudio and the preliminaries will beonOctober 22ndin Garner 164.

For more information, please view the clip of last year’s competition. To enter the competition, email Speech Committee Member Nicole Valdes at

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