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NYC Great Debaters Weekly! 

2017 Monthly Highlights

Thank You for an Incredible Year!

2107 was a historical year for debate in NYC! Because of your support... 


 2000+ students participated in debates

140 schools with debate teams

28 debate tournaments

13,945 rounds of debate

33 debate topics

1690 volunteers judging debates

13,520 volunteer hours

229 students participating in summer debate

5 summer debate institutes over 7 week

 We became the largest urban debate league in the nation! 


Below are a few highlights by each month of 2017. Thank you to the coaches, principals and schools that make debate possible. Thank you to the amazing work of our Great Debaters who will be tomorrow's leaders. Thank you for our incredible volunteers who dedicate EVERY Saturday to debate. Thank you to our parents, donors, supporters, and everyone for providing all the resources to make debate accessible for all and believing in our mission. Thank you to our incredible staff and Board who dedicate every day to sharing their passion for debate. Thank you for 2017 and cheers for an even more historical 2018!


Thank You,

Erik Fogel, Director




January 2017

"Politics Belong in the High School Debate Club," NYCUDL Board Member, Stefan Bauschard writes in Ed Week on the benefits of debate. Inside Schools features our summer debate camps! We hosted 24 middle schools, 29 high schools and over 500 students and 100 volunteers for our January MLK TournamentsThe NYC Travel Team dominated the awards at the Lexington High School Tournament near Boston, MA! Congratulations to Brooklyn Tech which took 1st Place! We hosted our January Debate Educators Conference with over 50 debate coaches citywide!  


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February 2017

NYCUDL Alumni are changing the world... Sorangel Liriano is featured by Build On for her work across the globe (and on weekends she helps to run our tournaments!) The Chancellor visits MS 50 and has this to say about how debate is changing schools! The NYC Travel Team won top awards at  Harvard University! Congratulations to Brooklyn Tech which had two varsity teams finish as top teams at the Harvard University High School Invitational. Learn more. Congratulations to the HS for Leadership & Public Service who placed in the Top 32 out of 254 teams at Harvard! Learn more.  Midwood HS hosted our middle school tournament (32 schools, 306 students, 151 volunteers) and Clinton HS hosted our high school tournament (44 schools, 286 students, 113 volunteers). The staff of the NYCUDL is interviewed on NY radio! 



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March 2017

The Mayor drops by In-Tech Academy to meet their debaters! We host the annual City Championships Tournament which is a two day tournament with elimination rounds in which each school in NYC is invited to send their top two teams. Click here for our Middle School City Champions (33 schools, 232 students, 159 volunteers)! Click here for high school results (31 schools, 139 students, 167 volunteers). We also hosted our Spring Girls Debate Tournament. Click here for more! Kirkland & Ellis hosts our debate champions and 2017-2018 Travel Team!


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April 2017


"Libraries and Debate: A Match Made in Heaven," New York Public Libraries features us in an articleAmerican Studies High School Debate Team is featured in the news, click here for article! Former NYCUDL Debate Coach, Nicole Mirra writes an article about the power of scholastic debate, “An Undeniable Force: Supporting Middle School Students as Scholars and Citizens Debate.” We host the New York State Debate Championships which invites all schools across New York State to attend. Our top debaters also went on to the National Association of Urban Debate League's National Championships. Click here for the NY State High School Debate Championships Results (31 schools, 178 students, 111 guests and volunteers). Click here for the NY State Middle School Debate Championships Results (35 schools, 285 students, 198 volunteers and guests). 


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May 2017

US News and World Report publishes an article on the impact of urban debate leagues. We celebrated the end of the high school debate season with our End of Year Awards Ceremony, Dinner and Debate Night at Citi! We dedicated an annual "Spirt of Debate Award" to celebrate the life, inspiration, and impact of High School Debater Kara Healy (Sophomore, Midwood High School) who recently passed. We met Kara this year when she came to the very first debate tournament of the year (and her first debate tournament!) - and WON the tournament! By her third tournament she was winning the Varsity Division! And soon after was competing at winning at the Princeton University Tournament and the Harvard University Tournament!  


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June 2017

In June we hosted our Middle School End of Year Awards Ceremony and Debate Fest at Hunters Point Community Middle School! Thank you to Morgan & Lewis for hosting an incredible debate night to end the school year!  We host another incredible Debate Educators Conference or "Debate Con V." Click to learn more!  We are so thankful for our partnership with the NYC Department of Education's Middle School Quality Initiaitve and we end the year with the MSQI Debate Championships! Click here! We host the Bronx Debate Championships at PS/MS 15! And we end June with our end of year debate fundraiser, "Celebrate Debate." 


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July 2017

Author Libby Romfhin writes about us in her article, "The Talent Code," on how debate is unlocking the "Talent Code" through "deep practice", "Ignition," and "master coaching." Click for article! High school senior, Lily Rubinstein of Brooklyn Tech High School reaches the Finals of the first national debate tournament of the year at Wake Forest University! Click here for her article. Our summer debate camp kicks off! Click here to learn more about our summer program! An amazing seven weeks of elementary, middle and high school debate institutes at Columbia University, Hunter College, Silberman Graduate School, Maspeth High School, Brooklyn Public Library, and Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice. Click for our summer debate season results at our Summer Harlem Tournament, Summer Manhattan High School Tournament, Summer Manhattan Middle School Tournament, and Summer Girls Debate League Tournament.



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August 2017

Nike features one of our amazing debaters and summer instructors, Sekou. Click here! Our Summer Debate Camps end! On August 30th we host Summer Debate Con (Debate Con #VI). Click to learn more. My speech and debate coach, the legendary Tommie Lindsey retires. Learn more in an incredible article.  Our Summer Scholars program for varsity debaters kicks off its inaguaral year. Learn more. We host our first weekend summer debate camp and Varsity Camp! Learn more! And our summer girls debate program in partnership with BALI kicks off its 6th year!  We are featured in an article by Public Words! Click here for our Summers Scholars Debate Institute Tournament Results and our Queens Summer Debate Institute Tournament Results! 


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September 2017

"I Am Debate" - our first girls debate league workshop kicks off. Click here to learn more! Check out the NYCUDL staff interview by the NYC Sophist. We host our first policy debate workshop on a Sunday and attended by over 50 debaters! Joel De La Cruz of the High School of Law, Advocacy, and Community Justice," is featured in an article by Global Youth Voices and his recent work as a Youth Ambassador at the United Nations. Click here! Our new Travel Team debuts in their first practice of the year! They go on to take top awards at Yale University and Georgetown! Click for photos! Each NYCUDL varsity high school is invited to participate! Learn more! Our Debate Club kicks off the first practice of the year! Congratulations to Julio Cordero for being selected to the USA Travel Debate Team! Learn more! 


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October 2017

In October we kicked off the debate season with our first High School TournamentMiddle School Tournament, and MSQI Tournament... 85 schools, 914 debaters, 1300+ debate rounds, 455 volunteers, teachers, and family members! We host our first Public Forum Debate workshop and Debate Night of the year with the incredible Stefan Bauschard and Bilal Butt at Seward and Kissel Law Firm. Learn more! 



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November 2017

The inaugral MSQI Debate Tournament of the year is featured on NY1. Click here! We hosted our second Girls Debate Workshop on the theme of identity and debate. Click to learn more!  Our high school tournamnet was hosted by three different schools! Thank you to Clinton HS, World View HS, Bronx Collaborative and Bronx Science!  Over 35 schools 250 students, 107 volunteers and guests. Click for Tournament Photo Album!  Our middle school tournament was attended by 41 schools, 389 students, 182 volunteers and guests! Click for results! 


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December 2017

A documentary was produced about Harlem's powerhouse PS 161 Debate Team! Click here to view trailer. We ended 2017 with our largest high school tournament yet of 45 schools, 192 debate teams, 405 debaters, 143 volunteers and guests. Click here for photos. And we ended 2017 with one of our largest middle school tournaments wtih 42 schools, 439 students, 167 volunteers and guests! Click for results! 


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2017 Ends!

Wow!! What a Year! And that's only a summary! To learn more about the 2017 debate season, visit our News Archive, visit one of our seven debate blogs (, Press Page, Social Media, and more! 


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Thanks for reading!