Historically, debate has been available to youth in well-funded suburban schools. NAUDL’s s mission is to give urban students the opportunity to compete in this same rigor of academic policy debate. NAUDL’s urban debate leagues serves 9,479 students in 22 cities across the United States.

Urban debate works to close the achievement gap in urban public schools. These leagues work only in urban public schools and specifically target those schools where most of the students are from low-income families. Seventy-two percent of urban debaters are from low-income families and 85% are students of color.

Our students graduate prepared to succeed in college and beyond. 90% of urban debaters graduate on time. Debaters are three times less likely than non-debaters to drop out. Eighty-five percent of urban debaters enroll in college, where they are 80 percent more likely than non-debaters to graduate within six years.