The Lafayette Debates is an international platform for student dialogue and debate founded by the Embassy of France to the United States and The George Washington University in the belief that now, more than ever, a vigorous and respectful transatlantic dialogue is of the utmost importance not only to the citizens of France and the United States, but also the world.
The Lafayette Debates tradition began in 1824 during the "hero's tour" to the United States of General Marquis de Lafayette and his son, George Washington Lafayette. The Lafayette Debates were revived in 2013 by Emilienne Baneth-Nouailhetas, former Attache for University Cooperation, and Paul S. Hayes, Director of Debate for The George Washington University Debate & Literary Society. For more information on the history of the Lafayette Debates, click here.
The 2018 Lafayette Debates U.S. National Championship was held at the Embassy of France to the United States in Washington DC on April 8. The top ranked students at the tournament won study tours to Paris on which they explored the Lafayette Debates topic area in meetings with French scholars, activists and thought leaders.
In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the 1968 Paris riots and general strike, the 2018 Lafayette Debates topic area was "Revolution & Resistance." During the debates students engaged the ethical and practical questions facing the French college students who began the May '68 protests in Paris and sparked a nationwide revolt. The 2018 Lafayette Debate U.S. National Championships were won by Julia Lynch and Leandra Lopez from the University of Miami. For more information on the 2018 debates, click here.