Denzel Washington Gives Toward $1M Commitment to HBCU Debate Team

Wiley College’s well-known debate team received another round of donations from Denzel Washington’s Family Foundation, Black Enterprise reported.According to a press release, the fourth $100,000 payment of $1 million stems from a commitment made in 2007 to assist students at the historically Black college in Texas. Funds provided by the actor’s Washington’s Family Foundation include signing up debate team representatives who want to become members, according to the article. Also, money is used to fund their scholarships.

The generous gift of bringing back to focus the debate team helps to keep a scholarly tradition alive.

“Being a dominant force as home of The Great Debaters makes us a very attractive option for those skilled in debate, and this financial support further amplifies the benefits of becoming a Wiley debate scholar,”  Wiley College President Dr. Herman J. Felton said in an announcement according to the article.

In a well-known 2007 film, “The Great Debaters,” Washington portrayed Melvin B. Tolson—Wiley College’s infamous debate team coach. In the 1930s, the talented professor led Wiley College’s team to achieve a 10-year record of winning the competition, according to the article. He also broke barriers to bring together collegiate debates in segregated times.

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