This month our Great Debaters were recognized with 4 different presidential honors!  In fact, as we write we are on our way to Washington D.C!  We also travel to Washington to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech and March on Washington.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was also a former debater in school and used his advocacy skills to change the world.  And that is our mission to provide the best public speaking and debate education opportunities for ALL students and ALL ages so that everyone can use the power of words to make the world a better place. And so in this edition we recognize several of our teachers and high school seniors who have received national honors in the past month for using the power of speech and debate to make the world a better place.  And I would also like to shout out every one of our NYC Great Debaters and our entire Debate League Family for impacting your schools and communities and nation every day by speaking, researching, learning, questioning, and advocating on critical current public policy issues every single day.  – Erik
KIPP Coach

KIPP Debate Coach is Honored by the White House!
The White House Teaching Ambassador Fellowship is designed to improve education for students by involving teachers in the development and implementation of national education policy.  Over a 1000 candidates are nominated and considered every year, and only 8 are selected.  This year the NYC Urban Debate League is so proud of KIPP Debate Coach and Special Education Teacher, Jonathon McIntosh who has served as one of our longest and most successful middle school debate coaches at KIPP AMP Academy!  He has led his debate team to city, state, regional and national honors. And not to worry – he will continue as Debate Coach!  But this year he will also work full time for the United States Department of Education on impacting national education policy with his expertise in debate education and special education. Congratulations Jonathon!  And on a personal note, I’ve known Jonathon since he started as a debate coach and for all these years I am so inspired to see his dedication to his students at every single tournament – as well as his dedication and passion to scholastic debate by not simply teaching his own students but volunteering to  teach workshops to any new student and any new teacher at our Saturday Tournaments.  The White House could not of selected a better Ambassador for educators!  Congratulations!
For more about Mr. McIntosh’s White House Honors, click here for the full article at the United States Department of Education website.
Tyler Anderson

ACORN Community HS Debater and National Debate Champion Invited to the White House… and the Supreme Court… and the US Congress!!!!!!!
This week is going to be an incredible week for High School Senior Tyler Anderson from ACORN Community HS in Brooklyn, New York.  It all started several months ago when Tyler was honored as 1st Place Top Speaker at the National Association of Urban Debate League’s National Championship. Last month Tyler and other top speakers from the Tournament were invited to meet with President Obama, Supreme Court Justices, House and Senate Leaders and other Cabinet Officials including experts on next year’s Policy Debate Resolution: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela.  Much more on Tyler’s trip in next week’s edition!  And a huge shout Tyler for your incredible debate achievements and also a shout out to the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues for making this trip possible!
NDCA 2013

Bronx Law’s Geordano Liriano & Charles Athanasopolous Win Presidential Debate!
Geordano and Charles have been debating since they stepped foot at Bronx Law in the 7th grade and their accomplishments grow every single year.  This year they won top awards at nearly every single tournament including Georgetown, Harvard, Lakeland, the National Debate Coaches Championship, and one of the most prestigious national championships – The Tournament of Championships. This summer they both received full scholarships to the Dartmouth University Debate Institute where they went undefeated after over 10 rounds of competition.  Also, Dartmouth sponsors the regional qualifying tournament of the George Bush Institute Economic Debate Program, which Charles and Geo also won 1st Place and are invited to the Institute for the Final Debate where they have the opportunity to meet and debate former President George Bush!  And so huge shout outs to Charles and Geo and huge shout outs to the Dartmouth Debate Institute and Nicole Serrano and the wonderful staff for your support!
For more information on the George Bush Institute Economic Debate Program click here or read the Institute’s article on the importance of High School Debatehere!

The New York City Urban Debate League Celebrates 1st Anniversary of the National Arts and Humanities Award for top after school program in the arts and humanities! 
This month marks our win last summer as one of the top programs in the arts and humanities.  Every year the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the White House select the top after school programs in the arts and humanities.   Last summer we were honored to be the recipient as well as one of our debaters, Starr Arroyo was invited to the White House to receive the award and deliver a speech.  As a result, one of our community partners and sponsor of the Awards, Louis Vuitton has invited us for a public debate on the arts and humanities!   Thank you LV for your support and thank you to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities for your support
For more, click here for Starr’s speech or here for the news article!
NY Mets

The New York Mets invites all Summer Debaters to the Ballpark this Thursday! 
Thank you to the New York Mets for providing all our summer debaters and their families with tickets to the Mets Game this Thursday!  We are so proud to partner up with the Mets this year to recognize all the incredible work our debaters did this summer at the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Harlem, and Queens Debate Institutes!  In education reform, there is talk of the “summer slide,” and the “summer learning gap” where students “unlearn” what they learn during the school year.  But you can’t say that to any of our summer debaters who devoted the summer to public speaking, research, writing, current events, cross examination, and summer debate tournaments!
For more information on our summer debate camp programs, visit our website –www.nycdebatecamp.org!
Queens Borough

The Queens Debate Institute Begins Monday!
This Monday marks history in the borough of Queens as we begin the borough’s first debate institute for all!  The Queens Debate Institute (QDI) is open to all middle school and high school debaters.  We thank so many people for making this possible!  We thank Coaches Tommye Weddington and Frank Zhou and our Teaching Assistants, Starr Arroyo and Yaira Brito.  We also thank all the students and families who signed up for QDI!  Finally, we thank all our supporters for making free debate camps available for all – The New York Council for the Humanities, The Patrina Foundation, Brown Rudnick, the West Harlem Development Corporation, and so many of our community partners!

The Queens Debate Institute (QDI)

When: August 26th – August 30th, 9am-1pm
Where: World Journalism Prep School
What: Debate Camp! Public Forum Debate, Policy Debate, and Public Speaking
Contact: Erik Fogel, nycudl@gmail.com, 917-455-1078
For more information on our summer debate institutes, visit our debate camp website at www.nycdebatecamp.org.
2013-2014 Season

The Summer of Debate Ends and the School Debate Season Now Begins!
While we will miss all our summer debaters, we will see you soon at Tournament #1 coming soon!  Our first official date is our annual September Workshop on the last Saturday of September (9/28) at Achievement First High School in Brooklyn, New York.  This workshop is for all grade levels and all levels of debate and is a great introduction to new debaters.  The following Saturday we have a joint workshop with the Metro Hudson Debate League at Bronx Science and our HS Travel Team competes at the Monticello Tournament.  HS debaters will also be competing at the Yale University, Georgetown University and Wake Forest University debate tournaments through September.  And that’s just the beginning!….  we have debate tournaments EVERY weekend until the end of the school year!  So stay tuned to our weekly newsletters, and you can always find tournament information and schedules on our website –www.nycdebate.org, or feel free to contact us at nycudl@gmail.com or 917-455-1079.  Thanks and see you soon!
For more information on our school year programs and debate tournament calendars, visit our website at www.nycdebate.org.

Calling all New Schools Interested in Starting a Debate Team!
The New York City Urban Debate League is the city’s scholastic debate league for all schools and all grade levels.  We have elementary, middle school, and high school divisions.  We also have all debate formats available including policy debate, public forum debate, parliamentary debate, Lincoln Douglas debate, and the nation’s first all girls debate league.  How do you start?  Send us an email at nycudl@gmail.com, call us at 917-455-1079, or complete our Contact Form by clicking here and we can visit your school, provide any training, resources and curriculum you need for new debate coaches, and provide anything you need to start and sustain a successful debate team, after school program or debate class! All our programs are free to all NYC schools.  Every day we offer debate practices, every weekend debate tournaments, every month debate workshops, every summer we have debate camps from the first day of summer to the last day of summer.
Letter from the Editor

President Obama stated in his speech to students that “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.”  His first appointment for the Supreme Court was a former South Bronx high school debater, Sonya Sotomayor.  His former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was a former high school debater (and her husband and former President Bill Clinton, also a high school debater).  Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, had this to say about debate, “Competitive debate is one of the great equalizers of educational opportunity.  In a number of respects, competitive urban debate is almost uniquely suited to building what’s been called the ‘Four C’s’ of 21st century skills-critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. And to that list I might add a fifth ‘C’- for civic awareness and engagement.” Several members of his Cabinet and other staff are also former high school debaters!
Indeed, a survey of US Congress members found that over 60% were members of their school’s speech and debate team! And so this month when our NYC Debaters were recognized with not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 DIFFERENT PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS – it actually comes to no surprise.  Every single one of our Great Debaters is more than capable of becoming the next President.
For the past eight weeks during our summer debate camps, I have been in total awe learning from everyone!  I’ve seen 4th graders teach 2nd graders about evidence and supporting one’s arguments, middle school debaters completely out argue me in practice rounds, high school debaters learning about subjects that most students wont learn until graduate school, college students interested in bringing back debate to their colleges, and adults, parents and families sitting side by side middle school and elementary students to learn debate skills and strategies.
I’ve also been in total awe at all our amazing summer debate camp instructors!  Incredible teachers like Coach DiCo who devoted three weeks to ensuring that any student in Brooklyn has the best opportunities in debate education and teaching middle school students Gandhi, Thoreau, and theories of civil disobedience!  The so many volunteers we had at the Manhattan Debate Institute which was the only way we could support 100+ debaters!   Huge shout outs to our staff at our Manhattan Debate Institute – Emily, Betty, Jessica, Isabella, Jeslyn, Loretta, Laila, Leighton, Max, Mikhai, Sadie, William, Tommye and apologies for missing anyone there – it was an awesome 2 weeks together at MDI and thank you for everything you did from the classroom to 20 minute treks for breakfast and lunch! Thank you to all our interns and volunteers especially Starr and Yaira for always being there for the debate league!  Thank you to our founding staff of Tommye, Frank, Aylin, Laurie at our Bronx, Harlem, and Queens Camps for making history with BXDI, BKDI, and QDI!
As we travel to commemorate the March on Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream Speech” and for our national champion debaters to meet the first African American President of the United States in the Oval Office, I cannot describe how honored and privileged I am to be able to listen and learn every day from the arguments, speeches, and passion and advocacy of our students.  That advocacy is the future for our schools and the future for our world.  As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
So congratulations and thank you everyone for an incredible summer.  There is no summer break for debate!   And thank you everyone for making this possible – our parents, our students, our volunteers, our alumni, our teachers, our supporters, our schools, our principals, our community partners, our Board members, our Foundations and donors – everyone with a passion for providing access to one of the oldest and most rigorous academic programs since Ancient Greece – debate.  Thank You.
And finally another congratulations for not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 different national presidential honors and the students and teachers mentioned above! And if interested in supporting our Great Debaters this school year, please consider donating to the NYC Debate League!  Click here for more information!
PS – We still have 1 more week of debate camp to go!  So see you at our Queens Debate Camp on Monday! 🙂
Debate Camp