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Fall 2015 News

Democracy Now! Interviews Max Kenner, Executive Director of Bard Prison Initiative

Democracy Now! Interviews Max Kenner, Executive Director of Bard Prison Initiative

Resolved: Debate Win for Inmates Against Harvard Shows Benefits of Higher Education Behind Bars

October 30, 2015
Despite their stellar record, a loss by the Harvard University debate team wouldn’t normally be national, let alone international, news. But one match in September 2015 wasn’t your typical sparring contest. Three members of the Harvard team squared off with opponents not from a rival university, but a maximum security New York prison.

Harvard's Prestigious Debate Team Loses to NY Inmates

Harvard's Prestigious Debate Team Loses to NY Inmates
October 6, 2015
"Should public schools be allowed to turn away students whose parents enters the U.S. illegally?" was the question up for debate at Eastern New
York Correctional Facility. Defending a position they opposed, the
students of Bard Prison Initiative brought up arguments that Harvard's
national title-winning debate team did not even think of, and won. 

Harvard University Debate Team Loses to New York Inmates

Harvard University Debate Team Loses to New York Inmates
October 7, 2015
Last month, BPI students at Eastern New York Correctional Facility challenged the Harvard Debating Union to a friendly debate. This showdown, however, ended in a victory for BPI and a defeat for Harvard University's top-ranked debate team. While it may be surprising to the public, this victory was not surprising for BPI staff. 

New York Inmates Defeat Harvard Debate Team

New York Inmates Defeat Harvard Debate Team
October 7, 2015 
While it may be surprising that a group of inmates defeated Harvard's world-ranked debate team, BPI's track record will make you think otherwise. BPI's debate team has defeated a nationally ranked team from the University of Vermont and the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. 

This Is How a Prison's Debate Team Beat Harvard

This Is How a Prison's Debate Team Beat Harvard
October 6, 2015
Three BPI students, from Eastern New York Correctional Facility, defeated Harvard University in a recent debate. How is this possible? The answer is BPI: " 'The most important thing that our students' success symbolizes is how much better we can do in education in the U.S. for all people,' BPI founder Max Kenner told The Huffington Post. 'Our program is successful because we operate on a genuinely human level.'

Harvard Students Defeated by BPI Students

Harvard Students Defeated by BPI Students
October 8, 2015
News of BPI's recent victory in debate against Harvard has France buzzing. Le Monde covered the debate, taken place at Eastern New York Correctional Facility. 

Harvard College Debate Team Defeated By New York Prison Team

Harvard College Debate Team Defeated By New York Prison Team
October 7, 2015 
A team of BPI students challenged Harvard undergradtuates in a debate last month - and won. Organized by BPI, their team had to argue in favor of public schools being able to deny enrollment to undocumented students - a position BPI students " 'fiercely dsiagreed'" with. Bard's team argued that if " 'dropout factories with overcrowded classrooms and insufficient funding could deny these children admission, then nonprofits and wealthier schools would step in and teach them better." This argument caught Harvard off guard, leading to their unexpected defeat. 
 

NY Inmates Crush Harvard's Title-Winning Debate Team 

NY Inmates Crush Harvard's Title-Winning Debate Team 
October 7, 2015
A few months after winning the national title, Harvard's debate team has lost to students of the BPI. Held at Eastern New York Correctional Facility, the teams went head-to-head. However, the BPI team brought up arguments the Havard team did not even think of. While it was a pleasant victory for the BPI students, the true prize was their impressive ability to demonstrate and articulate what they've learned. 

Convicts from Maximum-Security New York Prison Take on Harvard Debate Team - and Win 

Convicts from Maximum-Security New York Prison Take on Harvard Debate Team - and Win 
October 7, 2015
Just last year, Harvard University's debate team were deemed world champions, and a few months ago, the Harvard team won the national debate title. Recently, Harvard faced a worthy opponents at Eastern New
                                         York Correctional Facility. These opponents were the students of the BPI.
                                         While also called prisoners, the students of BPI are " 'held to the exact
                                         same standards, levels of rigor and expectation as students on Bard's
                                         main campus. Those students are serious. They are not condescended to
                                         by their faculty,'" as said by BPI founder, Max Kenner. 

Prison Inmates Best Harvard Debate Team: Does Prison Education Work?

Prison Inmates Best Harvard Debate Team: Does Prison Education Work?
October 7, 2015
Last month, BPI's debate team defeated Harvard's debate team. Does this debate serve as evidence that prison education works? Wall Street Journal's Leslie Brody, Marshall Project's Dana Goldstein, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo seem to think so. 

Harvard's Prestigious debate Team Loses to New York Prison Inmates

Harvard's Prestigious debate Team Loses to New York Prison Inmates
October 7, 2015
After beating debate teams from the US military academy at West Point and the University of Vermont, the BPI debate team added Harvard to their record. The Harvard debate team, who recently won the national title, were challenged by the BPI team, who argued to support public schools' ability to deny enrollment to undocumented students. This
                                         position, however, opposed the personal opinions of the each member of
                                         the BPI team. This victory was not just a W on a record; the true win for
                                         the team was their ability to master an argument they did not necessarily
                                         agree with. 

Harvard Was Schooled by N.Y. Inmates 

Harvard Was Schooled by N.Y. Inmates 
October 6, 2015
Last month, BPI's students at Eastern New York Correctional Facility invited this year's national debate champions for a friendly competition. These champions hailed from Harvard University, but were astonished by BPI's strong arguments for a position they were personally against. BPI's mastered arguments led to a well-deserved win. 
 

How a Team of Prison Inmates Beat Harvard at a Debate 

How a Team of Prison Inmates Beat Harvard at a Debate 
October 9, 2015
Ever since a "team of prisoners," also known as students of the BPI, beat Harvard's debate team, a media frenzy has erupted. The question on everyone's mind remains to be: how did this happen? The answer is Bard
                                         Prison Initiative. If familiar with the program, this victory should not be a
                                         surprising one.

Prison vs. Harvard in an Unlikely Debate 

Prison vs. Harvard in an Unlikely Debate 
October 8, 2015
After an hour of rapid debate, judges declared the BPI debate team winners over the nationally-ranked Harvard debate team. This competition was much more than your average debate. The morning of the showdown, members of the BPI team declared that their ultimate objective was to inspire other inmates to pursue educations - even if they lost. The outcome of this debate highlighted the power of an incarcerated education, and promoted BPI's life changing program. 

Prisoners Surprised by Reaction After Defeating Harvard in Debate 

Prisoners Surprised by Reaction After Defeating Harvard in Debate 
October 8, 2015
After accomplishing a victory over the Harvard debate team, the BPI debate team was surprised by the country's reaction: " 'They are so amazed that the world cares about their story so much...Even more meaningful than the knowledge of the widespread coverage is the realization of just how proud their families are of them,” said David Register, BPI's debate coach. This win, nonetheless, is not discouraging the students from working harder; rather, the students are "very serious about getting better," Register adds. 

Why You Shouldn't Be Surprised That Prisoners Crushed Harvard's Debate Team 

Why You Shouldn't Be Surprised That Prisoners Crushed Harvard's Debate Team 
October 7, 2015
To prepare for debate, BPI students acquired knowledge in a way that may be foreign to college students nowadays. The BPI debate team researched without access to Internet; instead, they used books and articles approved by the prison administration. Going into the competition, the overriding concern was not winning or losing, but how the teams would be framed afterward. The truth is, however, that this team works really hard. As a result, they caught the Harvard team off guard - and won. 

 

HuffPost Live

HuffPost Live

This is How a Prison's Debate Team Beat Harvard

October 2015
When Harvard's debate team went head-to-head recently with a group of inmates at a maximum security prison, things didn't quite go as expected.

The Lip TV

The Lip TV

Prison Inmates School Harvard Debate Team

October 2, 2015
Prison inmates from the Eastern New York Correctional Facility defeated Harvard's debate team.  Unlike Harvard's students, BPI's students have no internet access to help them prepare for the debate and must have requests for books and articles approved for research weeks in advance. 

NPR's Here & Now

NPR's Here & Now

New York Prison Inmates Trounce Harvard Debate Team

October 9, 2015
A group of convicted inmates from the Eastern New York Correctional Facility, all of them Bard College students through the Bard Prison Initiative, challenged Harvard University's national championship-winning debate team.  The inmates, who research without the internet, and wait for weeks for the books they need to be cleared by security, win.

CBS News This Morning

CBS News This Morning

Prison Debate Team Win Against Harvard Was "Gratifying"

October 8, 2015
Inmates from the Bard Prison Initiative outsmarted the Harvard debate team at a New York state prison in September.  The Bard program has already handed out nearly 350 college degrees to prisoners. BPI Executive Director, Max Kenner, spoke to CBS News and Gayle King reported.

The Daily Show

The Daily Show

Let's Talk About Prison

October 8, 2015
Host, Trevor Noah, talks about the Senate introducing a criminal justice reform bill that would eliminate some of the obstacles that prisoners and former offenders face.  He also notes the recent BPI debate team win over Harvard.