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“Debate is much more than an extracurricular activity, it naturally becomes family.”

Kristell Caballero Saucedo recently joined the Minnesota Urban Debate League’s Young Professional Board. After immigrating to the United States, Kristell debated with the MNUDL, became a Fulbright Scholar and spent the last year living in Hungary. Now returned to Minnesota, Kristell is  giving back to the debate community.


Could you introduce yourself, your professional background, and talk a little bit about your connection to debate and to the Minnesota Urban Debate League?

I am Kristell Caballero Saucedo, a 2009 MKristell2NUDL alumna from Minneapolis North High School. Professionally, I focus my work on research on ethnic minorities rights and activism, and I am currently a New Sector Alliance Fellow at Northside Funders group working on racial equity and inclusion in grantmaking and cross-sector impact initiatives.

Why did you join the Young Professionals board and how are you involved?

The MNUDL impacted my life by giving me the opportunity to learn beyond what I was taught in school. It help develop my critical thinking to be able to understand and make a connection between the information I was learning through debate practices and tournaments and the problems that affect my community. In addition, it sparked my interest in politics and influenced my decision when deciding my major in college and my current career path on human rights and racial equity and inclusion. I believe that my story in not unique within the UDL, and for this reason I am inclined to be part of an organization that has the capacity to change the lives of youth in my community.

What are you most excited about for the MNUDL this next year

I am mostly looking forward to be back into the debate community after being away for 6 years and becoming an active alumna.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

There are many great people in the MNUDL community. My high school coach, Eli Brennan was one of them. He became an additional supportive father figure to both me and my debate partner; for many MNUDL students, debate is much more than an extracurricular activity, it naturally becomes family.

Thanks so much!