The Brooklyn-Queens Catholic Forensic League has promoted high school speech and debate activities since our inception in 1951, and we have strived to live out the Mission Statement of the National Catholic Forensic League (of which we are a local chapter) “to prepare high school students to become articulate Americans.”
The tragic and heinous death of George Floyd in Minnesota – along with other similar tragedies directed against members of the American Black community – necessitates that the BQCFL – as a catalyst for both education and communication – both take a stand on this issue and re-evaluate our own Mission Statement. Perhaps both have been too long in coming.
Words are merely empty shells if they are not followed by concrete actions for positive change. We wish to offer both words and actions. First, we offer our wholehearted support of the Black Lives Matter movement and to our students using their voices to advocate on its behalf. We acknowledge the centuries of racism and discrimination that have plagued the Black community within our society over the past 400 years. It is reprehensible beyond words.
But simple acknowledgement of this horror is insufficient. In order to support those words with action, we will amend our Mission Statement to include the following words for the member schools in our local chapter: “…to prepare high school students to become articulate Americans who use their written and spoken words to boldly promote justice, equality and compassion for any other individuals who are dehumanized on the basis of their race, color, creed, gender, sexuality, physical ability, immigration status, language or economic status.”
We will also create a Diversity Sensitivity Committee to monitor the activities we sponsor and ensure they promote equality, justice and support for each and every one of our members.
Promoting Excellence through Speech since 1951
The Brooklyn-Queens Catholic Forensic League has been a member of the National Catholic Forensic League since the inception of the NCFL in 1951. We welcome Catholic, public and private high schools located within the Diocese of Brooklyn (Kings and Queens Counties in New York City) to join us as members and to participate in the many speech, debate and student congress tournaments we sponsor throughout each academic year.
Our Mission Statement reflects the goals and aspirations of the National Catholic Forensic League, and echoes its motto “Leadership through Speech”. Following the example of Jesus Christ. whose message and ministry espoused humble service and articulate leadership, we hope to use forensic activities as the medium through which our members learn to express themselves clearly and concisely, yet recognize through their spoken and written words the importance of truth and compassion.
“It shall be the purpose of this League, as a member of the National Catholic Forensic League, through participation in interscholastic tournaments, in debate and public speaking, in the various forms of discussion and community service, and in the dramatic arts, to prepare high school students to become articulate Americans.”