Every year, the Marquette Speech and Debate Team chooses a speech and debate student to receive the prestigious I Speak for Others Award. This honor recognizes a competitor who uses the skills learned in speech and debate to make a positive difference in his or her community.
Levi Dyson, a senior on the speech and debate team at the high school, was chosen as the recipient of the 2018 I Speak for Others Award. Levi was chosen for his work to increase understanding across religions in the Saint Louis area.
During the awards ceremony, the following was shared from Levi’s nomination letter:
“For the past two years, Levi has given presentations about his faith through the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Student to Student program. The program brings students who are Jewish into schools with few to no Jewish students and asks them to share the history and main ideas of Judaism with the students and then answer questions. Creating understanding between people of different faiths and learning the truth about different faiths is an important step to creating a more understanding and peaceful world. Levi’s courage and willingness to share about his faith and educate people shows a strength and maturity that many do not possess.
In addition to these presentations, Levi has spent the past year as a member of a program called Jews and Muslims. This program aims to bring young people of both faiths together to engage in dialogue and increase understanding between people of the two religions. Again, the strength, courage, and leadership displayed by Levi in this situation is so impressive.
Levi is working to change the world and understands that true change is going to start with individual conversations and increased understanding of the people who think and feel differently from you. He is working to advocate for people of the Jewish faith while also setting an example by engaging in dialogue and learning from others. Marian Wright Edelman, an American activist, once said, “You really can change the world if you care enough.” Levi is too humble to ever claim he would have a role in changing the world; however, Levi cares enough and is taking action to bridge divides between people and create a more understanding and unified world – and that will change the world for the better.”