City Council District #6 Debate Initiative

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 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.



Financial Literacy Debates at MLK High School for Law, Advocacy, and Community Justice


We host an annual tournament at the Martin Luther KIng Jr. Education Complex in partnership with the High School for Law, Advocacy and Community Justice. This includes four workshops and a tournament in April serving over 100 students, teachers, and volunteers.


Tournament Photo Album:


Website Landing Page of the Tournament:


Tournament Results Page:



The Anderson School and Computer School Debate Tournament


We host an annual middle school tournament in the District at the Anderson School and Computer School. This tournament serves over 200 students, parents, teachers, family members and community volunteers.


Tournament Photo Album:


Website Landing Page of the Tournament:


Tournament Results Page:



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:


MLK High School for Law, Advocacy, and Community Justice


MS 243


The Anderson School


The Computer School


The Geneva School of Manhattan


Special Awards & Recognition:


The District 6 Travel Team is composed of some of the top debaters in the city. We provide scholarships (travel, housing, tournament registration, meals, coaching, etc.) for top debaters in the District to compete at national tournaments including Yale University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Georgetown University, Rutgers University. District 6 debaters have gone on to win top awards at these tournaments.



Other District Debate Programs


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