In August 2008, the Bay Area Urban Debate Commission (BAUDC), the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, and the Oakland Unified School District launched the Bay Area Urban Debate League. Dozens of young people in the public schools of Oakland joined brand new debate teams and – often for the first time in their lives – began taking passionate stands on key issues, rigorously researching evidence, and gaining the tools they need to succeed in college and become leaders in their communities.
In the following years, the BAUDC has partnered with the school districts of San Francisco and Emeryville, reaching hundreds more students with empowering debate education. Through these partnerships, more than a thousand young people have participated in debate. Most of them have regularly given up their weekends to argue for hours about policy change, making massive investments of time to sharpen their skills and improve their chances of success at debate tournaments and in their later lives.
Experience and evidence have shown that debate increases students academic performance, enriches and expands their college and career opportunities, and trains them to become active and responsible leaders in their communities. The changes we see in the youth we serve motivates us to achieve the vision of making competitive policy debate available to every public high school student in the Bay Area.
Along with its school district partners, BAUDL is supported by the efforts of a broad range of community and business leaders. The support of our donors and volunteers is crucial to the success of the work we do – please learn more about opportunities to volunteer or donate.
Contacting the BAUDL
Potential partners and supporters, debaters, and more are invited to contact Executive Director Dmitri Seals at or to get in touch by mail or phone:
|287 17th St, Suite 201
Oakland, CA 94612
|Dmitri Seals, Executive Director
|Jenna Dookun, Program Director
Board of Directors
|Darin Snyder, Chair
OMelveny & Myers, LLP
Jill E. Fox, Vice Chair
Ben Crosson, Treasurer
Amber Watkins Yearwood
Jeffrey D. Polsky
College Preparatory School