As a debater, your voice is powerful. Have you considered applying to the contest with a recorded speech?
You’ve already learned how to develop compelling arguments. Your voice brings them to life. Use these resources for inspiration, tips, and tricks if you decide to enter the contest with a recorded speech (via video or audio format):
The Minnesota Urban Debate League celebrates Disability Pride Month this July, marked to honor the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These great former debaters put their advocacy skills in action to pave the path for a more equitable, inclusive world. Do you know other former debaters whose work you want us to honor? Email email@example.com to let us know.
How Would You Reduce Racial Inequality & Injustice in the Criminal Justice System?
The killing of George Floyd and the unrest that followed have created a long-delayed but urgently needed discussion on police brutality, inequities in the criminal justice system and racial injustice more broadly.
The Minnesota Urban Debate League (MNUDL) and Star Tribune Opinion believe in the power of young minds and voices, and if you are between the ages of 10 and 18, we want your best ideas about how our communities can continue the hard work of responding to these problems.
We Want to Hear Your Voice:
The task is to create an original written essay, video or audio file which describes one or two specific changes our community, state or nation should make to reduce racial inequities and injustices in the criminal justice system.
Top submissions as determined by a group of judges from the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota will be published in the Star Tribune and on StarTribune.com and shared with leaders across our state and nation.
Your words could pass new laws, transform society, spark revolutions, change minds and hearts, or help heal our communities.
The submission should be entirely your words and made by you, although others may teach you new skills, such as operating a camera, microphone or computer software. Submissions must come from young people between the ages of 10 and 18, using their age as of Dec. 31, 2020. You may also submit a group project with up to six friends (seven people total).
Written essays must be no more than 700 words, typed, double-spaced and in 12-point font. Video and audio submissions should be no longer than two minutes and must be submitted in a file format that can be uploaded to YouTube. If you use any materials from other people (research, writing, video or audio clips, etc.) you must give credit to those people either in your submission or in an additional text document not more than 50 words long.
How to Enter:
Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. To enter, fill out the form below and submit your essay, video or audio file by Aug. 16.
Please be passionate, be creative and feel free to use your own personal experiences as evidence for your arguments.
There is no right or wrong answer. You have the chance to make change, and we look forward to hearing your voice.
Connect With Others, Gain Skills, & Make Change This Summer
Join These Free Opportunities This Summer
Despite COVID-19-related limitations, we’re so thrilled that we can still spend four weeks with students this summer – including middle and high school policy, Congress, and speech campers. They’re analyzing the timely criminal justice reform topic, building public speaking and advocacy skills, and researching potential solutions to issues facing our community. We love that the virtual format has allowed us to meet students from across the United States. However, we know that times are rapidly changing, and that week-long camp was not right for everyone this year.
That’s why we’re excited by these free community-based opportunities for civic engagement training and community issue discussions. Apply & sign up now to take part. You’ll enter the season – and the 2020 election – more prepared to grapple with the complex issues we are facing in Minnesota and beyond.
In response to COVID-19, we’ve translated our regular summer debate camp programming to an all-virtual space. Students will gain just as many opportunities to enjoy practice debates as before – but we need your help!
Have Zoom? Can Judge!
We need experienced judges in policy debate, student congress, and speech categories. View our website and reach out to us at email@example.com for details.
Volunteers needed to judge on these dates. See shift information on the signup page on our website.
June 26th (All Day) – (Middle School Policy Finals)
June 28th-July 15th (Daily) – (High School Policy)
The Road To Nationals: After Detours, Highland Park is Getting There
This winter, Highland Park’s team started off their road to nationals strong, qualifying three teams to compete at the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) Championship Tournament: Henry Kelly & Elsa Snowbeck, Mason Eischens & Sam Groven, and Tristan Kmoch & Zach Glaser.
Qualifying to compete at Nationals is a huge honor – so Highland Park’s triple-whammy qualification was impressive.
But COVID-19 has upended all aspects of Spring 2020, and the competitive debate season is no exception. The National Speech & Debate Association Championship Tournament, held in June each year, is an exciting opportunity for students to meet and compete with talented speech and debate competitors from across the nation. It usually means making memories on a road trip with team members, enjoying the hotel pool, and souvenir shopping – but for the first time in history, the competition is all virtual.
Learn more about how the Highland Park team members have adapted their approach post-COVID-19 in preparation for the upcoming virtual version of Nationals.
Support Indigenous Youth Voices; Help MIGIZI Rebuild
Early morning Friday, May 29th, the MIGIZI nonprofit building in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, MN (one street over from the 3rd Precinct building) went up in flames amidst ongoing protest over the senseless killing of George Floyd.
Like the Minnesota Urban Debate League, MIGIZI is a youth-centered organization elevating the voices of Twin Cities’ youth. They’re our neighbors and, like us, are part of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s YWI cohort of grantee-partners. And we want to see their rebuilding efforts succeed.
The surrounding community has already sprung into action to begin clean up and financial recovery. We believe it’s important to amplify this work, so we are asking you to make a gift towards that effort, using their website, their GiveMN campaign or through GoFundMe.
MIGIZI’s mission is to act as a circle of support that nurtures the development of Native American youth in order to unleash their creativity and dreams – to benefit themselves, their families and community. Since 1977, MIGIZI has provided youth with state-of-the-art storytelling skills, enhancing self-esteem and improving academic performance.
Leadership from MIGIZI stated, “As an organization and circle of support, MIGIZI is heartbroken over the tragic death of Mr. Floyd. We stand with the family and friends of Mr. Floyd, as well as with our African American brothers and sisters, and all the peaceful protesters…We’ve been fighting for justice and equality since 1977. We are now faced with the task of rebuilding our sacred space to continue to serve our community, our future.”
Your gift will make a difference. Will you help MIGIZI?
We are incredibly proud of this year’s graduates. Although they will face unique challenges amidst today’s upheaval – whether from COVID-19, economic uncertainty, or the devastation of police violence in our community – we’re inspired by their open-mindedness, optimism, and where they’re going next. Find out more about their future plans and what they’ve learned from the end of senior year.