The Omega Debate seeks to revive and leverage its history of scholarly debate targeting high school students of color in metro Atlanta to spur creative thought, develop critical thinking skills, improve articulation, and advance research skills while inspiring both participants and audience to act on the subject of the debate.


Within the history of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, debating has been a cornerstone since before its founding. Two of Omega’s Founders, Edgar Amos Love and Frank Coleman, were elected members of the Kappa Sigma Debating Society at Howard University in February 1911 and several other future Brothers, including Founder Love’s brother, William, were members of this society as early as 1909. The foundation in debate extended throughout Omega with Brothers at Fisk, Morehouse, and Lincoln members of their respective debate societies. Most notable, Melvin B. Tolson, professor of English at Wiley College, was the famed debate coach for that school. He was the subject of the 2007 biopic The Great Debaters (Tolson was initiated into Omega while attending Lincoln University in 1921).

November 5, 2022, 9 AM - 12:30 PM

Westlake High School Auditorum
2400 Union Road
Atlanta, GA 30331
(the event is open to the public)

Since its inception in 2019, Delta Mu Mu Chapter has partnered with Westlake High School in southwest Atlanta to host and be the featured high school for The Omega Debate.
Competitive Structure
For 2022, The Omega Debate is an intraschool tournament-style competition consisting of four 2-person teams from Westlake HS Debate Club.  These teams will meet in the prelims then finals to determine the winner of the Tolson Cup and $1,000 1st place prize.
Debate Format
The format employed for The Omega Debate is Team Policy.  This format consists of eight speeches: four constructive, which lays out the most important arguments, and four rebuttals, which are where teams explain the flaw in their opponent's argument.
Panel Discussion
In years past, the Debate featured a guest speaker.  Replacing that in 2022 is a panel discussion featuring 2-3 professionals, officials, administrators, and/or academics on one of the featured topics of the Debate.

Prelims Debate Topic:
Is Critical Race Theory Needed in Schools?

A total of 35 states so far have signed into law or proposed legislation banning or restricting the teaching of critical race theory in public schools.  What is critical race theory, and should it be banned from schools?  Or are these states' efforts misplaced and misguided?  Teams argue both sides of this controversial topic during the preliminary round of The Omega Debate.

Finals Debate Topic:
Are HBCUs Relevant Today?

More and more African Americans are attending and graduating from predominately white institutions than ever before.  According to the National Center of Education Statistics, in 1977, HBCUs conferred 35% of all bachelor's degrees to black students.  Since then, that number has decreased to 13% for 2020.  However, the HBCU value proposition, campus climate, cultural impact, and socioeconomic factors remain important advantages for HBCUs and their students.  The Finalists will frame arguments and defend their position around this important topic: Are HBCUs Relevant Today?