We create equitable access to academic debate opportunities with a focus on students of color and students from other historically underserved communities in New York City to empower the next generation of diverse, informed, and courageous leaders.

In 2011 less than ten Title 1 schools had debate programs. NYC school teachers came together to reverse these statistics, and the New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL) was founded. We started with one school and we were funded by bake sales! Thanks to the law firm, Brown Rudnick, we became a nonprofit charity and had the support to expand citywide! Over the past ten years, the League has helped grow the number of NYC Title 1 schools with debate training for students from less than 10 to over 100 schools across the city and we are proud to be the largest urban debate league in the country.

In 2013, the NYCUDL was honored by the White House, the National Institute for Museum and Library Studies, the 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 creates 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 the National Speech and Debate Association which provides our teachers with incredible debate education resources.