International Community Empowerment Project (ICEP) Holds Week-Long Debate Program

Last week the International Community Empowerment Project (ICEP) program held a week-long debate program, thanks to the coordination of Ming-Hao Shiao. Shiao connected with ASIA, Inc. through an outreach initiative from Cornell University and recently reconnected with the ICEP program this past spring to set up a pilot debate program as a supplemental enrichment program for our youth. 

The program provided opportunities for Akron’s immigrant youth to advance their argumentation, debate, and other persuasive communication skills. They also learned how to expand their knowledge of current issues through critical thinking and reasoning, research and organization, active listening and speaking, and cross-cultural engagement.

The week-long program ended with the hosting of a debate tournament in which judges from the community evaluated the student’s argumentation and debate skills. The judges included Dr. Loi Dang-Nguyen of Akron Public Schools, Cristina González Alcalá of Summit Education Initiative, Dr. Carolyn Behrman of the University of Akron, and Kara Ulmer and Susan Berg-Hermann of ASIA, Inc.

The ICEP program hopes to continue to engage in simulations of argumentation and debate programs during its summer and after-school program long-term. For more information on the ICEP program and how you can enroll into the after-school program, visit the website

Photographer: Zaïrè Talon Daniels