Over the past two years as we’ve been developing World Debating Forum we’ve had the opportunity to review many different kinds of school-based debate programs, and there are none more exciting to us that what we see happening in the New York City Urban Debate League. It’s one thing to read the deep academic research on how debating can change the lives of young people from challenging backgrounds and
it’s another thing altogether to see and hear these kids tell their own stories.
The New York City Urban Debate League is responsible for reaching out to thousands of young people from every kind of background and circumstance and raising them up through the power of debate. Whether it’s increased high school graduation rates, reduced dropout rates, fewer young people falling victim to drugs and alcohol abuse, or radically increased lifetime earnings – all of these benefits of debate are made available at schools throughout the city by this energized debate-centered organization of teachers, coaches, students, administrators and community supporters.
We recently spend a full day browsing the video collection on the NYC Urban Debate League’s website and we would like to invite you to do the same. If you care about the lives of our young people who are facing challenges that rival the greatest ever faced by older generations, visit this website and listen to the stories of the young people. They will inspire you and fill you with pride in what they have been able to accomplish. These stories may also challenge you, as they did us, to envision this same program for every community.