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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Virginia Speech & Debate Awareness Day

WHEREAS, on March 23, 1775, during the second Virginia Convention, delegates were persuaded by Patrick Henry’s powerful argument in his “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech to start the journey towards America’s independence; and

WHEREAS, articulate expression and civil debate have a pivotal role in sustaining a functioning democracy and ensuring individual success; and

WHEREAS, speech and debate activities prepare students for the challenges of the future by mastering the 5 C’s of creative thinking, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship as outlined in the Virginia Department of Education’s Profile of a Virginia Graduate; and

WHEREAS, the Richmond Forum launched the Richmond Forum Speech & Debate Initiative in 2018 to implement, expand, and support speech and debate programs in all public middle and high schools within the Richmond region; and

WHEREAS, to further enrich the speech and debate culture, the Richmond Forum actively collaborates with the National Speech & Debate Association and the Virginia High School League, seeking to elevate the visibility and participation in these key learning activities; and

WHEREAS, civil debate is about listening and learning together, seeking shared understanding, and exploring new ideas in the pursuit of improving our Commonwealth and our world;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize March 23, 2024, as VIRGINIA SPEECH & DEBATE AWARENESS DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.