Gender Empowerment Initiative has seven members for the Spring 2017 semester, coming from schools all over the APDA circuit. Here you can learn more about us. Each member is required to hybrid with a younger, non-cismale debater during the semester, so if you meet that description and would like to hybrid with any of us, please reach out!

Joy Jing (Co-Chair)


Hello there! My name is Joy Jing and I’m a senior at Harvard College, pursuing a joint concentration in Environmental Science and Architecture. I started debating in the fall of freshman year, and fell in love with the activity and the community. During my time on APDA, I am particularly inspired by the amazing female leaders and speakers. I hope to give back by providing mentorship for others. I am also an avid painter, traveler, volleyball player, and floor speech dreamer.


Rachel Kane (Co-Chair)


My name is Rachel and I’m a sophomore at GW currently studying political science and public health. I love to run cases about feminism and movement politics, but I’m currently trying to become less awful at Econ. When I’m not studying or debating, I spend an inordinate amount of time and energy attempting to make evenly browned toast. If you ever want to chat about rounds or literally anything else, I’d love to hear from you! I’m incredibly excited to continue to serve on GEI this semester; I hope I can give back a fraction of the support that GEI has given me.



Leah Block


My name is Leah and I’m a junior at NYU majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. I love the community on APDA, the passion, and the focus on open-minded intellectualism. I like to debate about philosophy and feminism, and I typically LO/MG, though it depends on who I partner with. I’m excited to promote gender diversity and inclusivity on the league!


Chiara Caraccio


Hi! My name is Chiara Caraccio and I’m a first year at Columbia, planning on majoring in philosophy. I’m from California and did some high school debate — I’m very inspired by the community of incredible and accomplished female/non-male identifying debaters on APDA! I’m super excited to be on GEI and to get to know everyone on the league better.



Matt Cryer


Hi! My name is Matt Cryer, I’m a sophomore at GW studying international affairs. I started debating in the fall of 2016. I didn’t debate in high school, so I know how intimidating it can be, but I’ve come to love the community. I applied to be on the GEI to combat harmful gender norms, and want to especially be a voice for LGBT and non binary debaters. If you ever want to talk, case, or anything else, please feel free to reach out.


Sonya Huang


Hi! My name is Sonya Huang and I’m a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, planning on majoring in Economics. I debated all throughout high school, but only started Parli for the first time last semester (although I have done World Schools in the past!) Gender empowerment is an issue close to my heart, and I’m so excited to work with the rest of the GEI committee this year!


Madison Needham


Hello! My name is Madison Needham and I am a UC Berkeley student in my third and final year. While I am majoring in Political Science and Gender Studies, my true passions include writing Star Wars fanfiction and large dogs. My favorite cases are those which appear strange or inconsequential on the surface but contain thought provoking questions within. If you ever want to talk about queer women’s issues or disability rights (or Darth Maul), please reach out. Here is to a great year of debate!


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