NYC Urban Debate League Rocks!

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.

Debating: Not Only An Artform

A lot of people comment that debating is an Artform. I agree with them completely, but I also like to think of debating as an intellectual sport. But much like viewing art that hangs on a wall, or watching a sporting event on television, you need to understand what goes into what you’re seeing to fully appreciate it.

I’m not an overly educated person when it comes to art. There’s some art I like, and some I don’t. But I do know there’s more to art than what I see. If I don’t understand or study an artform, like I do with debating, I won’t appreciate a lot of pieces because I won’t understand what to look for or know what goes into creating something. This is similar to watching sports.

Take a soccer game, for instance. If you don’t understand the rules, you won’t like the game. If you do understand the rules, the complexity of the game is pretty enjoyable. This is how my brother and I are when it comes baseball. My brother loves it and I don’t. But he could tell you all about the sport, and I couldn’t tell you much at all.

Using rules and stats, for example, he could explain why someone is in a batting lineup in a way that exemplifies coaching genius! As far as I’d know, the same batting order could be organized according to the alphabet! But ask me about football, and that’s a whole different story!

Joking aside, to best appreciate debating, you need to understand it. Much like an artform, it has its methods and characteristics. Similar to a sport, there are rules that make you have to think on your feet. And when a debater combines these things together to craft a fantastic argument, it’s a beautiful thing to watch. You’ll begin to see the art through the artform and the agility in the intellectual sport.

So the next time you see a debate and walk away with a few facts you find agreeable, you may have just had a pleasant evening. However, you leave the same debate and keep mulling over facts you disagree with, but want to know more about, then maybe you’ve been moved by the art of debating.

And if you watched a debater swiftly outmaneuver their opponent’s argument with a skillful examination of its premise, then you’ve witnessed some agile footwork. And if you can’t stop smiling because a debater surprised you, taught you something new and made you laugh – all at the same time – then you’ve just been entertained by the personality along with the process.

So much goes into building, presenting and defending an argument, that, even for those just watching a debate, it’s a sight to behold. The more you know about it, I guarantee, the more you’ll enjoy it. Debating has it all!

Who is No Hate No Violence?

A letter from our founder on the importance of free speech and debate theory:

I am 71 years old and I have experienced and have seen a lot in my lifetime. I’ve watched our world evolve in so many ways.  Because of this I know that we are fully capable of changing from a bad attitude to a good increasing our happiness. And I know we will continue to make this world a better place for future generations.

This is why I started the No Hate No Violence blog.  I started it because I truly believe there is no place in the world for hate or violence.  I believe we CAN make our world a better place.  And I want to help do this.  So, I began by writing posts trying to encourage others to embrace this ideology.  This is my pay it forward.

Our team here created NO HATE NO VIOLENCE signs and took them to the streets to be carried at the different marches and protests.  All in the hopes of reducing the tensions and encourage peaceful demonstrations and dialog.  I’m not going to lie.  It was intimidating for us to do this.  But it was successful.  We found that it didn’t make a difference what position a person stood on in the matter. Most were receptive and wanted to hold our signs.  This gave us hope.

But, in my process of learning how to be a blogger (and yes, I am still learning how all of this works), I have spent many hours researching various topics.  And as does everyone, I too have my own personal beliefs.  But above all I believe in free speech.  So, when I came across debate teams and the rules of debate I thought AHA!  This is what we need.  This can help!

No Hate No Violence believes in free speech with open and respectful dialog.  So, we began developing the No Hate No Violence Debate Forums.

If we could promote free speech and reduce today’s angry rhetoric using facts we could encourage people to actually listen to each other.

We could get people to really hear different points of views objectively. What better way to start than to encourage healthy respectful debates.  Especially in our youth.

In today’s world when we follow our politicians and media we become more and more exposed to so much negativity, mistruths, and corruption.  Sadly, we are teaching our youth how to be corrupt, how to lie, how to be self-absorbed and how to be closed off to differing points of view.  Much of our society claims to be enlightened and open-minded in today’s age, but in reality, many have become more intolerant.

I think that our issues with bullying alone, is an indicator of what our society and social media is teaching our youth.  Our political leaders and their rhetoric spread all across the media spectrum just screams intolerance and is the epitome of bullying.

We want to change that.  We want to bring the fine art of debating back to the forefront of American society.  We want to re-open the dialogue.

Let’s encourage and support the benefits of debating.  Debating promotes open dialogue and respect and tolerance for others.  It teaches people how to think objectively and quickly.  After all, to be objective you must be able to hear both sides of an issue.

The more we thought about debating the more we realized that we need to expand and promote these programs nationwide from grade school through university.  Especially to those schools needing assistance.  We want to get these debates recorded and publicized to provide ongoing education and awareness to the general public.

There are so many benefits that debating can offer.

Teaching our children to debate at the grade school level will develop their cognitive skills giving them greater confidence and self-esteem.  It will improve their study habits and encourage them to take more interest in subjects they may otherwise shy away from. Click on this link to check out 3rd graders debating!

Debating at both the grade school and high school levels gives the teachers fun opportunities to engage their students in some of the more challenging or “boring” topics.  It’s also a great avenue of redirection for kids lacking in social skills.  The child identified as a “bully” could redirect their aggressive behavior in a more productive way.  And the “shy” kid can find their voice.

These skills carried through high school and college will provide far better opportunities for success in life.  High school debaters will improve their future college and scholarship opportunities.  And those who choose not to go to college have gained invaluable skills to promote themselves in the workforce and their future careers.

Benefiting our youth with these skills benefits our society.

As you can probably tell, we are very passionate about this.  But we are small and have been self-funding everything.  We need your help.  To fully make this a reality we need volunteers and donations to enable us to develop and distribute our systems, market the program, provide outreach and training, and to fundraise and secure sponsors.  We hope you will join us on this journey to pay it forward.

There is no debate…debating can make the world a better place!


Unplanned VS Planned

The topic of abortion certainly is one that carries a lot of debate. As does the movie “Unplanned”.

But rather than debate the topic of abortion we wanted to bring up the topic of censorship.

Many of you may have seen the movie “Unplanned” which tells the story of Abby Johnson, a young clinic director for Planned Parenthood who ultimately becomes an anti-abortion activist.  It’s an interesting movie.

But the making of the movie is an interesting story in itself.

The writer and directors of the movie have faced quite a bit of opposition in marketing this film.  So much so they testified at a Congressional Committee meeting on “Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse”.

Their testimony includes reports of being blocked or suspended from Google Ads, Twitter, and other social media.

The NPAA gave them an “R” rating limiting their ability to market to a Christian base.  These are just naming a few examples of the challenges they faced.  Their testimony was very interesting.  We encourage you to check out the link “Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse”.  It is quite enlightening.

We are supposed to be a country who supports free speech.  Yet, here we find big tech companies trying to restrict our rights.  How is this right or legal?  What they are doing is censorship and seems discriminatory.  Our moral compass needs to get back on course.

This type of censorship is an insult to the intelligence of American adults.

We should always be free to hear both sides of a debate and be free to make our own educated decisions on what we choose to believe in.  Or what we want to watch at a movie.

That’s what makes America great.  We choose which movie ticket we want to purchase.  We choose what we want to believe in.

Scroll to top

Pin It on Pinterest