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IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    Contact: Willa Voss

June 11, 2019                                       Development & Communications Manager

                                                                 Chicago Debates


                                                                 Direct: (312) 300-3441

Chicago Debates to honor former Attorney General Lisa Madigan
at 8th Annual Make Room for Debate Luncheon

Chicago Debates tomorrow will celebrate 21 years of providing debate to students with its 8th Annual Make Room for Debate Luncheon at the Hilton Chicago. Former Attorney General Lisa Madigan is the event’s 2019 Champion of Debate which will celebrate the Chicago students who are becoming the next generation of leaders through the transformative activity of debate. Joining Chicago Debates and Attorney Madigan are Attorney General Kwame Raoul, States Attorney Kim Foxx, and CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson.

Chicago Debates’ unique program allows students to learn and engage in debate that significantly improves academic achievement. Debate is research-proven to increase GPAs, graduation rates, college readiness, and school engagement. Students develop powerful skills that follow them into college and career success and leadership skills that inform every aspect of their lives. Young people who find it hard to express themselves find their voice, learn to be tenacious and resilient, and grow into leaders in their communities.

“At Chicago Debates, we are focused on Chicago and its youth.  We are committed to supporting and cultivating the academic, career, and leadership success of Chicago students,” said Dr. Toinette Gunn, Chicago Debates Executive Director. “By supporting debaters, you are investing in Chicago, our neighborhoods and helping to build a pipeline of future business, community and civic leaders.  Without a doubt, the voices of today’s debaters are those of our future leaders.”

Chicago Debates provides this form of communication learning to students in neighborhoods across the City, including some of the area’s most disadvantaged to help close the achievement gap. In total, 85 Chicago Public Schools were served and nearly 1,600 students participated during the 2018-2019 academic year with plans to add an additional 10 schools in 2019-2020 school year. Students debate current topics and world issues, especially those subjects that affect them now and will impact their futures. Every student works hard to build critical skills that will serve them throughout their lives. Debaters compete in five to six tournaments a year around a nationally selected topic. Chicago Debates hosts roughly 35 tournaments a year.

“I have spent my career speaking up for people whose voices have been marginalized, and by doing so I learned there is nothing more powerful than making your voice heard – a skill you can learn through high school debate,” said Former Attorney General Lisa Madigan. “Through debate, youth not only find their voice, they find their power and a tool they can use to transform their lives and communities. That is why I am honored to be recognized by Chicago Debates as their 2019 Champion of Debate.”

The 8th Annual Make Room for Debate luncheon is co-chaired by Rishi Agrawal, Founder, The Agrawal Firm; Farissa Knox, Founder & CEO, RLM Media & WRUW Productions; and Lerry Knox, Co-Founder & CEO, Sovereign Infrastructure Group.  The event is Platinum sponsored by Allstate and Gold sponsored by Husch Blackwell, iManage, Jenner & Block, Kirkland & Ellis, Massey & Gail, Performance Trust, and Third Coast Underwriters.