Our team at the Extemper’s Bible has always believed that extemporaneous speaking is, and should be, a vehicle for growth in the students who participate in it.
Unfortunately, we’ve all witnessed a great amount of inequity in our event holding our fellow speakers back.
In the spirit of our convictions, we are thrilled to announce that for the past several weeks, we have been working on an equity initiative that we are now prepared to launch.
Before we delve into our initiative, we’d like you to meet us!
Akshita Krishnan: Hey everyone! My name is Akshita Krishnan, and I’m a rising senior at Coppell High School. I currently serve as speech captain, and have competed in extemp for about 3 years.
One thing I’ve always been lucky for is having an extensive Speech and Debate program that allowed me to compete and meet new people. That said, I know for a fact that inequalities riddle the community writ large, and as a part of the equity team—and as someone working to further the larger goal of The Extemper’s Bible in trying to make extemp (and, consequently other events) more accessible—I’m incredibly excited to promote more inclusivity within our event, and others!
Annika Anand: Hi! My name is Annika Anand. I am a Westwood High School and have competed in extemp for 3 years and info for 2 years. I will be entering my senior year next year!
Since my freshman year, I have always noticed how Speech and Debate had one major flaw: lack of equity. I want everyone to have a fair chance and for everyone to get the help they want for S&D. I am so excited to help with tackling this issue head on!
Arjun Raman: Greetings! I lead equity for the Extemper’s Bible as director.
I compete in British Parliamentary debate for King’s College London, leading their debating society as President. In high school, I captained Westwood’s speech team and competed in extemp for 4 years. I struggled with a stutter and a lack of support during high school speech. The challenges I faced in speech and debate have fueled my passion to help the next generation of extempers with theirs.
Jennifer Wen: Hello! My name is Jennifer Wen and I am a rising senior at Cherry Creek High School. I have been competing in Extemp for 2 years.
I am so excited to be on the Equity Team! I am incredibly committed to ensuring equal opportunity for success and competition, and I am especially here to promote diversity and inclusivity! Especially after starting Extemp, I’ve noticed the harmful divide between different genders and still the challenges to societal norms, and I am here to amplify those diverse voices to ensure that gender equality thrives in every space.
Manushri Malkapurapu: Hi everyone, I’m Manushri, but I go by Manu! I am a rising senior at Hebron High School. I will be president of speech and debate next year have competed in both Extemp and OO for the past three years.
Over the past year especially, I’ve looked into equity issues in S&D, such as a lack of funding for many schools nationwide and the lack of regulation to prevent sexual harassment at local and national tournaments. I am really looking forward to being on the Equity team, and I can’t wait to push for changes in the speech and debate community at all levels.
Siri Ural: Hey everyone! My name is Siri Ural, and I’m a rising senior at Shrewsbury High School in Massachusetts. I serve as president of my team, and have competed in Extemp since my sophomore year.
Growing up around low-income communities quickly exposed me to the many inequities in Speech and Debate. With far too many competitors being forced out of an activity meant to elevate the voices of participants, I knew something had to change. I’m so excited to join the Bible’s initiative to empower future advocates!