In Greater Washington, high quality debate programs (and the associated academic benefits) have traditionally been available only at private schools. So WUDL levels the playing field, creating debate programs at public schools in DC and Prince George’s County, and supporting them with expert teacher- coaches, curricular resources, and monthly tournaments … all at no cost. Students develop grit and perseverance alongside skills in critical thinking, research, and effective communication; meanwhile, test scores, attendance, and graduation rates begin to climb. The most successful participants travel to regional tournaments where they display their skills and compete for college scholarships. A summer institute introduces students to the new debate topic for the coming year, boosting competitive success. Declared League of the Year by the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues, this young organization already reaches 38 schools. Help start the next chapter.
COVID-19 Update: Practices, camps, and competitions have continued virtually throughout the pandemic, including a three-week summer debate camp attended by 180+ students. WUDL participants continue to thrive with students from Inspired Teaching PCS winning the Middle School Nationals competition. WUDL hopes to recruit more than a dozen new schools and 100+ debaters this fall.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 3
Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 3; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County
Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)
Population(s) Served: Individuals with Disabilities; Individuals who identify as LGBTQ; Individuals living with HIV/AIDs; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Immigrants/Refugees
Schools They Work In: Academy of Health Sciences High School; Alice Deal Middle School ; Anacostia High School; Ballou High School; Banneker High School; Bard Early College High School; BASIS DC Education Campus; Benjamin Tasker Middle School; Bowie High School; Browne Education Campus; Capital City Education Campus; Capital Hill Montessori Middle School; Capital Village Middle School; Cardozo Education Campus; Center City Brightwood Middle School; Cesar Chavez High School; Charles Flowers High School; CMIT North High School; College Park Academy Education Campus; Columbia Heights Education Campus ; Creative Minds Middle School; DC International School Education Campus; DC Prep Edgewood Middle School; Dunbar High School ; DuVal High School; Eastern High School; EL Haynes Education Campus; Fredrick Douglass High School; Friendship Collegiate Academy PCS; Friendship Southeast PCS; Friendship Woodridge PCS; Girls Global Academy High School; Hardy Middle School; Ida B Wells Middle School; Inspired Teaching PCS; Jefferson Academy Middle School ; Kelly Miller Middle School; KIPP Will Academy Middle School; Luke C. Moore High School; Montgomery Village Middle School; Northwestern High School; Oyster Adams Middle School ; Paul High School; Phelps High School; Richard Wright High School; Samuel Ogle Middle School; School Without Walls Middle School; School Without Walls High School; Social Justice Middle School; Statesman Academy Middle School ; Stuart Hobson Middle School; Thurgood Marshall Academy; Two Rivers Middle School; Washington Latin Education Campus; Wilson High School
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Awards & Recognition
Most Outstanding Urban Debate League, 2017-2018
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- $3 million or higher
- $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
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