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Rutgers University-Newark debate team makes historic win

Cyril Josh Barker | 5/11/2017, 11:12 a.m.
Two members of the Rutgers University-Newark debate team were recently honored at Newark City Hall after they became the first ...
The Rutgers debate Team: (l-r) Nahshon Thomas, Luis Carrera, Willie Johnson, Devane Murphy (holding Championship Trophy), Chaz Wyche, Nicole Nave (holding her 1st place speaker award); Ryan Wash, Christopher Koza and Carlos Astacio Photo credit: Joe A. Getto

Two members of the Rutgers University-Newark debate team were recently honored at Newark City Hall after they became the first African-American partnership to score first and second place in the National Debate Tournament.

Newark native Devane Murphy and Ferguson, Mo., resident Nicole Nave won the tournament. Nave was the first Black woman to win the title. They are also the second Black team to win the NDT championship, with the first being a debate team that included former Rutgers University-Newark student and Newark native Elijah Smith.

The team became only the second in U.S. collegiate history to win both the NDT and the Cross Examination Debate in a single season. To do so, Nave and Murphy took on and downed teams from more than 100 colleges.

Members of the national champion Rutgers University-Newark Debate Team will sit atop a float during the May 11 Creation Nation Art & Peace Parade through downtown Newark.