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“You are never too young to be a good debater. Good debaters can come out of anyone and anywhere. So your ability and passion for the things that you do makes you a good debater. – Daushan, PS 161
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"Harlem Legacy"

Documentary Film on the PS 161 Debate Team


Dear Friend,

This week we shout out the PS 161 Debate Team and Coach Mr. Tyler Beattie whose debate team is the subject of the documentary, "Harlem Legacy" by filmmakers Sushana Dubreil and Genesis Tuyuc. Click here to view the trailer for the film! Harlem despite an incredible history of oratory, debate, and advocacy - there were few schools with competitive debate programs and few students participating in scholastic debate. But thanks recently to incredible teachers like Mr. Beattie and incredible Harlem schools, support from the West Harlem Development Corporation, City Council, and Volunteers - Harlem now is home to some of the top debaters and debate teams in the city. PS 161 will also be hosting the City Championships in the Spring! Harlem Legacy is an inspirational film on the power of debate and how it can change lives, families, schools, neighborhoods and the world. And while "Harlem Legacy" is about one school - every school that has a debate team is changing lives and changing the world and creating a Legacy. That is the power of debate.  According to Herbert of PS 161, "All of us have a debater in us because all of us want justice and all of us know how to stand up for ourselves."

Speaking about "Legacy" ... Last weekend, we created our own legacy with our largest debate weekend ever for NYC youth - NYCUDL debaters in five different locations! Shout outs to our High School Policy Travel Team (Mamaroneck Tournament), High School Public Forum Debate Travel Team (Princeton University), Middle School Parliamentary Debate Tournament (Inwood Academy), Middle School Public Forum Debate Tournament (Hunters Point Community MS), and Debate Club Scrimmage (Our Office!). 500+ debaters, 1500+ debate rounds, 50+ schools, 100+ volunteers ... on one day!!!! Click here to learn about our huge wins at both Princeton University and Mamaroneck! Legacy...

Finally, make 2017 legacy with our last tournament of 2017 this coming saturday on December 16th!!! High School Tournament #3 at Brooklyn Tech! Volunteer judges needed! Click here to volunteer!  Coaches! Please complete student registration by this Monday, 5:00pm. Click here to register! 183 teams registered so far!  See you next weekend in Brooklyn and help us continue to build our future Legacy. 



The New York City Urban Debate League

Join the Debate League!
Donate 4 Debate!
Volunteer 4 Debate!


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December 2nd, Middle School Debate Tournament #2 Results!

Thank you for everyone attending Middle School Tournament #3!!! Final Count - 42 schools, 439 students, 167 judges, 227 teams and 8 hours of incredible debates on topics including student athletes, social media, juvenile punishment, and graffiti. Thank you to all our coaches, parents, students, volunteers, staff and everyone for making our last middle school tournament of the year so incredible! Thank you to Hunters Point Community Middle School and Inwood Academy for hosting! Tournament Results below!  Click here for Tournament Photo Album! 

Novice Parliamentary Debate Top Team Awards

Novice Parliamentary Debate Top Speaker Awards

Novice Public Forum Debate Top Team Awards

Novice Public Forum Debate Top Speaker Awards

Advanced Parliamentary Debate Top Team Awards

Advanced Parliamentary Debate Top Speaker Awards

Advanced Public Forum Debate Top Team Awards

Advanced Public Forum Debate Top Speaker Awards

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Beveridge & Diamond Debate Night

December 5th, 2017

Thank you to Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. for hosting Debate Night this week! Thank you to Bard High School, Bronx School For Law Government And Justice, Leadership & Public Service HS for participating! Thank you to all our judges and volunteers from Brown Rudnick to make the evening so special! Thank you for all the judging, mentoring, debate feedback and information about legal careers! Thank you to Nadia Wagner for incredible support over the years!

Learn more



Travel Team Wins Big at Mamaroneck! (12/3-12/4)

Congratulations to our Travel Team last weekend that competed at the Mamaroneck HS Tournament in policy debate. 3 teams reached elimination rounds and several of our students won several top speaker awards. Congratulations to everyone!!!

Click here to learn more about the Mamaroneck Travel Team Results!

NYC Travel Team Info
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Travel Team wins Big at Princeton University! (12/3-12/4)

A great weekend of debate for the UDL at Princeton University! Over 50 students represented the UDL travel team at Princeton from NYC high schools including Law, Advocacy and Community Justice, Leadership and Public Service HS, Maspeth HS, World View HS, Pelham Lab HS, Bard Queens HS, Midwood HS, City College HS, Sunset Park HS, and Westfield HS. Thank you to all the coaches, staff, volunteers and parents who made everything possible. Congratulations to Mira Mehta, Kailey Zhao, Julio Cordero & Rajendra Singh who all had winning records. A huge congratulations to Julie Kuang & Larry Gonzalez who reached the double octafinals (top 32 out of over 200 teams)!

Click here to learn more about the Princeton Travel Team Results! 

NYC Travel Team Info
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Middle School Debate Tournament #4 Registration is Open! 

January NYC Middle School Debate Tournament #4 on January 6th is now open for registration! Click here to register (Coaches only!).  Volunteers can click here to judge! Thank you to Far Rockaway High School and Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) for hosting! Debate topics below1 

Parliamentary Debate Topics:

  • This House would legalize assisted suicide.

  • This House supports the New York Free Tuition Program.
  • This House would remove the statute of limitations for sexual assault.

Public Forum Debate Topic:

Resolved: Spain should grant Catalonia its independence.

(A total of 407 schools and 1,502 students voted for the resolution. The winning resolution received 57% of the school vote and 64% of the student vote.)

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High School Debate Tournament #3 (12/16/17)

We kick off the holiday season with High School Tournament #3 at Brooklyn Tech High School on December 16th.  The December Public Forum Debate Resolution is Resolved: NCAA student athletes ought to be recognized as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Policy Debate Resolution s Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.

Click here for registration!

Click here to volunteer to judge!

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Monthly Student Debate Fest and Debate Workshop! Thursday, January 11th, 4-7pm, 

We are hosting a monthly after school event for all public forum debate students and coaches - Debate Fest!  Debate Fest is a monthly workshop featuring dinner, prizes, raffles, debate workshops, demo debates and more. While starting with public forum debate - these workshops are for all debaters. 

Click here to register!

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Sign Up for NYC Debate Club! Spring 2018 semester now open for registration! 

For students without debate teams at their school and/or interested in additional debate coaching we offer a debate club that meets at our office every Saturday from 10:00am-12:00pm or students can also sign up virtually for online resources and online debate training.

Learn more

Donate 4 Debate!