Civics Education Programs

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The New York City Urban Debate League was honored by the White House, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities as one of the top civic education programs in the nation AND top debater in the nation.

 

“The New York City Urban Debate League is a program that empowers underserved students while immersing them in public speaking, research techniques, civics, law and ethnic studies.  Along with countless debating trophies, the program boasts years of data showing that their alums have higher grade point averages, high school graduation rates, college acceptances and number of scholarships than their peers.” 

 

– Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the First Lady of the United States, and the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, honoring us with the National Arts and Humanities Award for one of the top after school programs in the nation in the arts and humanities

 

“[The] NYC Urban Debate League” provides “a vision of what “democracy in action” for underserved youth might look like. Such democracy skill-building experiences can empower youth to become engaged learners and participating citizens.”  
 
- Institute for Out of School Time

Why Debate & Civics?

Debate historically is one of the most rigorous civic education programs by teaching every civic skill - public speaking, advocacy, research, critical thinking, critical listening, debate, writing, reading, and more!  Debate teaches every civic subject including current events, public policy, international affairs, economics, geography, critical theory, gender studies, philosophy and more!  Debate is the most rigorous civic education program because a typical debater will spend hundreds of hours over the course of a year in debate tournaments, debate practices and debate research.  As President Obama stated, "You may not know you could be the next Mayor or Supreme Court Justice until you join your school's student government or debate team." Click here to learn more about the benefits of debate. 

Our Partners

The New York City Urban Debate League is the largest debate league in the nation. We serve over 150 schools and over 2000+ students each year. We are proud partners some of the largest civic education programs in the city and nation including the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues, Points of Light, Civic Incubator Finalist, NYC Civic Corps, NYC Service.

Our Events

September

  • NYC Debate Season Kick Off
  • NYC Debate Club Kick Off
  • NYC Travel Team Tournament - Yale University
  • Girls Debate League Tournament

October

  • NYC Middle School Debate Tournament #1
  • NYC High School Debate Tournament #1
  • Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) Tournament #1 

November

  • NYC Middle School Debate Tournament #2
  • NYC High School Debate Tournament #2
  • Debate Educators Conference (Chancellors PD Day()

December

  • NYC Middle School Debate Tournament #3
  • NYC High School Debate Tournament #3
  • NYC Travel Debate Team - Princeton University

January 

  • NYC Middle School Debate Tournament #4
  • NYC High School Debate Tournament #4
  • Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) Tournament #2

February

  • NYC Middle School Debate Tournament #5
  • NY High School Debate Tournament #5
  • NYC Travel Debate Team - University of Pennsylvania

March

  • NYC Middle School City Championships
  • NY High School City Championships
  • Women's History Month Girls Debate Invitational
  • NYC Travel Debate Team - Westchester Classic

April

  • NYC Middle School Debate Tournament #6
  • NY High School Debate Tournament #7
  • NYC Civics Education Week

May

  • Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) Debate League Tournament #4
  • Financial Literacy Debate Series
  • Tech Duels Debate Tournament
  • National Association of Urban Debate Leagues High School & Middle School Championships

June

  • NYC Middle School Debate End of Year Awards Ceremony and Pot Luck
  • NYC High School Debate End of Year Awards Ceremony and Pot Luck
  • Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) Debate League Championships
  • NYC Debate Educators Conference (Chancellors PD Day)

July

  • Harlem Summer Debate Institute (free for all Title I schools in Harlem)
  • Manhattan Summer Debate Institute (free for all Title I schools in Manhattan)
  • Girls Summer Debate Institute (free for all middle school - high school students

August

  • Bronx Summer Debate Institute (free for all Title I schools in the Bronx)
  • Queens Summer Debate Institute (free for all Title I schools in Queens)