Meet the Squad


Deontrey Yeargin

Junior, Pan African Studies/English minor

"[Debate] has given me a space to bounce ideas off of brilliant people and engage in sustained dialogue over a wide range of theoretical backgrounds."

Deontrey first became involved in debate as a 7th grader in his hometown of Baltimore. This is his third season with the Malcolm X Debate team at UofL. In his first two seasons, he was a formidable competitor, winning multiple accolades. In addition to extending his competitive success this season, Deontrey hopes to continue grow as a scholar and to refine his communication skills to effectively convey his thoughts and ideas. When he's not winning trophies and speaker awards, he enjoys photography, painting, and drawing.

Jahne Benthall

Sophomore, Criminal Justice

"Becoming a part of the team has meant being in a family who wants me to grow even when I don't see the potential in me."

Born and raised in Newark, NJ, Jahne was first introduced to debate by her high school principal as a sophomore. She sees debate as something that should impact her life and her social justice movements. She strives to better herself with each tournament, both as a speaker and as a person, and plans to continue that betterment in her second year with the squad. In addition to debate, Jahne is actively involved on campus, supporting her classmates through her work with the Student Orientation Staff and the AVIATOR program, an initiative of the Admissions office to support diversity recruitment initiatives.

Jerome Lyles

Sophomore, Pan African Studies

"[The UofL debate program] is a close knit team that you can always count on to advise you and be there for you."

As a middle school student in Baltimore, "Rome" used debate as a way of staying out of trouble. As an added bonus, it became his pathway to college. He strives to improve every day of every year. In his second year at UofL, Rome hopes to increase his competitive success and his personal growth. Debate keeps him busy, but in his free time, he enjoys a bit of photography and playing a little basketball.

Raveen Bryant

First year, Business Administration / Computer Information Systems

"I hope to pave the way for other Black debaters."

Raveen competed in the Urban Debate League as a high school student in Newark, NJ before coming to UofL this year. Her goal as a debater, and in life, is to create a space for Black girls through competitive success. At the university, she hopes to use her voice to empower others as a (future) member the Black Student Association. If she isn't in the debate room, doing homework and writing speeches, you'll find her reading and writing computer code.


Tiffany Dillard-Knox


Director of Debate

UofL logo


Program Coordinator

Shauntrice Martin


Development Office