Debate is an academic activity that builds research and critical thinking skills in a competitive event. Each year high school debaters throughout the country debate a single complex policy question, or resolution, for an entire year. In 2[phone redacted], students will be debating “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance.”
Coached by teachers and SUDL staff, debaters conduct extensive research on the resolution and develop arguments for and against it. Debaters hone their arguments in afterschool practices and compete at weekend tournaments. Two-person teams participate in a series of 75-minute debates and each team alternates sides, arguing for the resolution in one round and against it in the next.
Competitive debate has always been available to students at suburban schools, but it has never been widely available in more cash-strapped urban public schools. Urban debate programs level the playing field, giving urban students access to the same academically rigorous debate programs available to their suburban peers.
All urban youth graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and their careers, and to contribute to their communities.
As the SUDL, our mission is to bring the education of policy debate to as many students of color and/or low-income as possible.
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