City Council District #14 Debate Initiative: Cabrera's Debates

Our Mission

Every school  should have a debate team. Every student should have access to the best debate education opportunities. Debate is one of the best academic programs to prepare students for college, career, and civic success.


Tournaments & Workshops Hosted


Our flagship program is our Saturday Debate Tournaments. We host debate tournaments every month during the school year and summer for high school and middle school students. Each monthly debate tournament will feature different topics including current events, economics, environmental affairs, philosophy, international politics, law and justice, and every other topic - topics traditionally not covered in school curriculums.  Students practice every academic skill preparing for these tournaments including reading, writing, researching, listening, practicing, public speaking, questioning, team work, and every other academic skill.  Academic learning time basically doubles through this out of school time program and culminates with the monthly debate tournament. At each tournament we serve over 300 students, teachers, family members and volunteers. Tournaments are all day from 7:00am-5:00pm and include breakfast, lunch, debate rounds and an awards ceremony.  Our Tournaments are free thanks to City Council support.


New York Debate Championships 2019 @ MS/IS 15


Thank you everyone for attending, supporting, volunteering and making the New York Debate Championships possible! What an epic weekend. 77 schools, 812 debaters, 300 judges, volunteers and staff! Thank you to Councilman Fernando Cabrera for sponsoring and longtime support! Thank you PS/MS 15 for hosting! Thank you to New York City Department of Education, New York City Council, and all our judges, volunteers, teachers, students and families!  Tournament Photo Album:



Bronx Debate Workshop 2018 @ MS/IS 15


Click here for Workshop Photo Album


Bronx Debate Workshop Registration Page


Bronx Borough Championships 2017 @ MS/IS 15


PS/IS 15 hosts the Bronx Borough Cahmpionships every year! Last year nearly 100 students, family members, volunteers and teachers participated. This is the culminating tournament of the year to celebrate all Bronx Debaters. 


Click here for Tournament Photo Album


Click here for Website Landing Page of the Tournament 



District Schools and Students Served


Half of our work is debate tournaments every Saturday. The other half of our work is how we support our teachers, schools and students through outreach and starting and sustaining debate programs in schools. We have outreach coordinators in each Borough to support schools, train teachers, provide curriculum and professional development, coordinate local debate scrimmages, year round virtual support (webinars, emails, phone calls, etc), help teachers recruit and start debate programs at their school, and anything else needed to start and sustain a successful debate team. We provide assistant coaches and volunteers to schools to support their debate programs. We have all day teacher training conferences at least four times a year.


As a result we have successfully partnered with the following schools in the district to create sustainable and successful debate programs through year round support:


District Schools Served:


CIS 303 Leadership & Community Service Academy


East Fordham Academy for the Arts MS 459


Good Shepherd Services @ PS/MS 15


PS 291


The Young Women's Leadership School of the Bronx



Other District Debate Programs


Debate Club. All District students are able to participate in our debate programs for free. We have a Debate Club that serves students without debate teams at their schools. 


Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) Partnership. The New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL) partners up with the NYC Department of Education to boost middle school literacy skills through curricular and extra curricular debate.


Special Awards, Recognition, and Media


Cabrera Honors Debaters


PS/MS 15

Each year this school and debate team is one of the largest in the league and consistently wins in the top ten of each middle school debate tournament.