Human Rights and an Alternative to Traditional Debate

Debate is often viewed through the lens of a traditional model in which the competitive desire for victory overwhelms other valuable goals. Traditional debate can help young people develop skills in public speaking and research, but more innovative approaches may better meet the needs of youth excluded from decision-making and left out of conversations about their futures and livelihoods.

Diagrammatic Debate and Dialogue (D3) puts competition aside in favor of positioning discourse as a root of human rights. D3 offers a prescription for change based on a proven step-by-step model rooted in Professor Johannes P. Wheeldon’s experiences working over the past decade in the former Soviet Union, and specifically in restorative justice in Latvia.


  • Johannes P. Wheeldon is assistant professor of criminal justice at Norwich University. Wheeldon was an original designer of the debate curriculum for the Washington Prison Debate and Dialogue Program, established in 2012—with funding from the Open Society Foundations—at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center and Washington State Penitentiary, as part of Walla Walla Community College’s Corrections Education Program.
Date: June 19, 2014
Time: 2:004:00 p.m.