Our History

In 2011, less than 1% of schools and 1% of students in New York City had access to debate education opportunities. So in 2011, NYC school teachers came together to reverse these statistics and the New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL) was founded. Today, the NYCUDL is the largest urban debate league in the nation. 


In 2013, the NYCUDL was honored by the White House, National Institute for Museum and Library Studies, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts as the nation’s top after school program.


We thank our many partners that make everything possible.  We are proud to be a member of the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues which brings an incredible national network of debate education resources. Thank you to the NYC Department of Education for an incredible partnership. Our collaboration with the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) is bringing debate to over 100 schools. Thank you to our partnership wtih the National Speech and Debate Association that provides our teachers with incredible debate education resources. 


Our mission is that every school should have a debate team and every student should have access to the best debate education opportunities.

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