The Harlem Middle School Debates

Sponsored by 

The West Harlem Development Corporation,

The Columbia Debate Society,

The Winners of the Columbia University High School Debate Invitational

"Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team." - President Obama, Columbia University Graduate and First African American President of the United States

In February we celebrate African American History Month with New York City's first Harlem Debate Tournament.  Sponsored by the West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC), the Columbia University Debate Society, and the Winners of the Columbia University High School Debate Invitational Tournament.  This is a free debate tournament for all schools in Harlem and for all schools of the New York City Urban Debate League. 



Tournament Registration

School Registration

Volunteer Registration





The Winners of the Columbia Invitational

Tournament of Champions Bid Recipients:

  • Lincoln-Douglas

    • Champion: Kevin Li, Stuyvesant High School

    • Finalist: Chakra Jonnalagadda, Cypress Woods High School

  • Public Forum

    • Co-Champions: Gil Alon and Deika Albert, Newton South High School

    • Co-Champions: Daniel Abdulah and Hannah Phan, Newton South High School

    • Semi-finalist: Matthew Majsak and Aidan Woutas, Regis High School

    • Semi-finalist: Gaurav Asthana and Anshul Joshi, Acton-Boxborough High School

    • Quarter-finalist: James Chen and David Mason, Millburn High School

    • Quarter-finalist: Gaia Moisan and Sylvana Widman, Bard High School Early College Manhattan

    • Quarter-finalist: Nikhil Kommineni and Kate Selig, Bromfield School

    • Quarter-finalist: Nishmi Abeyweera and Leo Flessig, Stuyvesant High School

    • Ghost Bid: Jack Sinclair and Amit Fudim, Newton South High School

    • Ghost Bid: Anika Sridhar and Jay Garg, Newton South High School

Speech and Congress Winners

  • Congress: Andreas Kapsalis, Xavier High School

  • Declamation: Aliyah Mayers, Achievement First Brooklyn

  • Dramatic Performance: Barbara Krawczuk, Bronx High School of Science

  • Duo Interpretation: Colin Landers and Luke Muller, Holy Ghost Preparatory School

  • Extemporaneous Speaking: Arjun Ravi, Scarsdale High School

  • Oral Interpretation: Yash Wadwekar, Phoenix Country Day School

  • Original Oratory: Eva Herscowitz, Walt Whitman High School


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The Columbia Debate Society

The Columbia Debate Society competes in both the American Parliamentary and British Parliamentary debate circuits. Their members are intellectually curious and have a passion for discussing a variety of topics. We also seek to bring debate into the mainstream Columbia community by hosting public events, and increase Columbia‚Äôs recognition in the national debate circuit by organizing our very own annual college tournament. We have a long history of success amongst intercollegiate debating societies in North America, and proudly represent Columbia University across the country and the world. The Columbia Debate Team is an institution dedicated to helping individuals express themselves, improve discourse, and enact positive change. Representing students with a wide variety of passions, our team is a home for thinkers of all backgrounds.






The West Harlem Development Corporation

The mission of The West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) is to promote increased economic opportunities and quality of life to sustain a vibrant community in West Harlem. WHDC is a model organization that effectively manages the Community Benefits Agreement with Columbia University through organizational collaborations and leveraging of resources to make significant contributions to the lives of the people of West Harlem.


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