10-01-2018 11:12am

Campus Debate: Restoring Civil Discourse in America

For Chris Medina, the importance of debating is to exchange beliefs, not change them. This may come as a surprise to the average debate spectator—after all, debate teams win by convincing others of their argument. But for Medina, that’s the key distinction: Debate isn’t about being right or wrong, it’s about logic.

Before joining Prairie View A&M, Chris Medina was the director of forensics at Wiley College, a school known for its Great Debaters Program. Medina also created the first forensics league for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with support from a Charles Koch Foundation grant.

For Medina, part of the benefit students gain by participating in a debate program or competing on a debate team is that they won’t always get to argue according to their beliefs. But, this pushes students out of their comfort zone and requires them to fully examine the arguments that run counter to their own views.

As Medina explains, “I think there are two important factors in trying to persuade somebody. I think the first is having respect for that individual—not pandering to them but having respect for their beliefs. And I think the second is empathy.”

12-12-2018 12:12pm

Jason Hernandez, Buried No More

After spending most of his adult life in a federal prison, Hernandez was granted clemency and released in 2015. Now devoted to helping others, he says, “I want people to see what believing in someone can look like.”

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11-15-2018 08:11am

2018 Giving Review

We’re continually impressed by the quality and diversity of proposals that scholars and community groups bring to us. This year is no exception, and we’re proud to be able to meet the increasing demand. After nearly doubling our giving in 2017, we anticipate disbursing nearly $90 million in grants by the end of 2018.

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11-14-2018 09:11pm

Tyler Cowen: The Economics of Everything

Tyler Cowen is always on a mission to learn something new—whether it’s about sustainable growth or the best ethnic restaurants. Here, he talks about how he tests his ideas, the goal of his new VC fund, and why he’s taking a risk on a random guy in Ethiopia.

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