Brandon P. Fleming
Assistant Coach of Debate
Brandon P. Fleming’s story of struggle, success, and service has inspired tens of thousands around the world. An at-risk youth and college dropout turned award-winning educator, Fleming is Assistant Debate Coach at Harvard University and Founder/CEO of the Harvard Diversity Project. Fleming was recruited to join the Harvard debate faculty at the age of 26. Harvard later approved Fleming’s proposal to establish a new department within the university system called the Harvard Diversity Project – an unprecedented pipeline program that the Harvard Debate Council would adopt as its subsidiary. Fleming now leads an executive staff and board that has raised over $300,000 to enroll over 50 students of color into Harvard’s international summer residency on full scholarship. Fleming recruits predominantly underprivileged youth with no prior debate experience who he then trains to compete against hundreds of experienced debaters from over 15 different countries around the world. Both the first and second cohort of students trained by Fleming made history two years in a row as back-to-back champions, with the second group achieving an unprecedented undefeated record at the international tournament. News of the achievement instantly went viral and broke national headlines, being featured on CNN, CBS, Huffington Post, Ebony Magazine, The Root, Blavity, Black Enterprise, and many more. Since, the organization has gained the financial backing of Fortune 500 companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, UPS, Chick-fil-A, Kaiser Permanente, Publix Supermarkets, Warner Media, and many more. Fleming set out to establish a one-of-a-kind organization that has become known for distinguishing and positioning Black youth to be pipelined into the Ivy League – a radical ambition that was officially accomplished in December 2018 when his first student received Early Action admission into Harvard College Class of 2023 on a full scholarship. Fleming’s story, erudition, and achievements have enabled him to use his voice to inspire and impact lives in places ranging from federal prisons to academic institutions and global platforms such as the United Nations General Assembly.
Fleming has received numerous awards for his work in education and social entrepreneurship. The Georgia Center for Nonprofits selected Fleming as a 2016 recipient of the Georgia ’30 Under 30′ award for emerging nonprofit leaders. In 2017, Fleming was inducted into Outstanding Atlanta – an annual award for 10 of Atlanta’s most accomplished leaders. In 2018, Fleming was inducted into LEAD Atlanta – Atlanta’s premier network of emerging leaders. In 2018, Fleming was also honored by Power 30 Under 30 and selected by the Atlanta Regional Commission as one of 50 community leaders to join the Regional Leadership Institute. Also, in 2018, Fleming was among the 50 world leaders selected by the Schusterman Foundation to converge in Israel for a global leadership program. Atlanta Tribune also recognized Brandon as an Atlanta Gamechanger in the 2018 edition of Who’s Who in Black Atlanta. In 2019, Fleming received an honorary resolution from the Georgia House of Representatives, as well as a community leadership recognition from the Atlanta Hawks and Crown Royal. He was also named the 2019 Modern Man of Distinction by Black Enterprise. He received the Education Advocate Award from Urban League of Greater Atlanta, was featured on the cover of Georgia Trend Magazine as a 40 Under 40 inductee and was featured on the cover of Simply Buckhead Magazine as one of Atlanta’s Rising Stars. Most notable, Fleming made history as an elected speaker for the inaugural International Day of Education at the United Nations General Assembly.