Students from across Florida gather to debate the issues that mattered most to Dr. Martin Luther King Junior

Published: January 17, 2022 3:26 PM EST
Updated: January 17, 2022 7:57 PM EST

On Monday, people around the country, and here in Southwest Florida celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. Students from all over Florida traveled to Glades County Monday to debate solutions to problems we face currently.

Martin Luther King Jr. marched so the next generation could march, regardless of race, color, or creed. He dreamed so the next generation could dream and let freedom ring.

Lawrence Joseph of Immokalee said, “this would have been what he wanted for everyone to come together and spread the message and fight the good fight.”

“A lot of people remember him as the ‘I have a dream’ speech but there’s so much more,” said Moore Haven Middle-High School sophomore Allyson Lara.

On Monday, dozens of students from 11 counties all over Florida came together to honor Dr. King’s legacy at Incubate Debate’s symposium.

They talked about some of the issues that mattered most to Dr. King. Among them, education and food access.

Student Ambassador for Incubate Debate Lexi Fort said, “what he cared so deeply about I grew up caring deeply about as well.”

Some of the same issues that Dr. King was passionate about still remain today. Incubate Debate Founder James Fishback said the young debaters put in the work researching some of our nation’s biggest problems.

“They’ve gone out and reached out to professors. They’ve read Ph.D. papers, economic reports. They really are inspiring,” said Fishback.

Keynote speaker Dr. Lavaughn Henry Judge said, “these are our next generation of leaders.”

Like Dr. King, this next generation of leaders dreams of a better world.

“To even take apart and to have an opinion and know what he was saying in depth, it makes me feel amazing that I’m a part of his dream,” said Michael Palma from Orlando.

The Incubate Debate founder said Monday’s event was the first in-person statewide debate since the start of the pandemic and the first debate tournament hosted in Glades County.

Incubate Debate provides free debate tournaments, workshops and institutes all across Florida.