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For Immediate Release:                                                                   Contact: Jennifer Jones
April 8, 2021                                                                             

Hundreds of CPS High School Students to Compete in City Championship Debate Tournament

Chicago Debates is wrapping its 2020-2021 high school debate season with its virtual City Championship Tournament this weekend, Friday, April 9 through Sunday, April 11. The City Championship is the culminating event of the season and will bring together nearly 200 high school students from 26 Chicago Public Schools, all vying for the title of 2021 High School Debate Champion. In teams of two, students will debate the topic of Criminal Justice Reform: The United States federal government should enact substantial criminal justice reform in the United States in one or more of the following areas: forensic science, policing, sentencing.

Chicago Debates quickly pivoted to virtually deliver debate programming when school was shut-down over a year ago due to COVID-19. Within the last school year, nearly 1000 students have participated in 45 tournaments hosted by Chicago Debates. “As we culminate this unprecedented year, the entire Chicago Debates community is proud of the innovative solutions implemented by our staff in partnership with teachers, coaches, debaters, and administrators at Chicago Public Schools. The High School City Championship welcomes students from all sides of the City of Chicago to respectfully engage in civil discourse,” said Director of Programs Anthony Bolden. “We are proud of each of our students for their tireless commitment and embrace of this new reality. Our debaters continue to illustrate the trajectory shifting benefits of debate through their continued success academically, personally, and professionally.”

Schools competing this weekend include:

Amundsen High School
Brooks College Prep
Chicago H.S. for Agricultural Sciences
Chicago Military Academy Bronzeville
Goode STEM Academy
Hancock College Prep
Hubbard High School
Jones College Prep
Kenwood Academy

Lake View High School
Lane Tech College Prep
Lincoln Park High School
Lindblom Math and Science Academy
Little Village Lawndale High School
Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School
Senn High School
Northside College Prep
Phoenix Military Academy

Pritzker College Prep
Solorio Academy High School
South Shore International College Prep
Thomas Kelly High School
Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
Walter Payton College Prep
Whitney Young High School
Taft High School

The Championship will recognize the 2021 Debater of the Year, Coach of the Year and Chicago Debates Alum of the Year during Saturday’s award ceremony, along with remarks from Chicago Debates Executive Director Dr. Toinette Gunn and Chicago Public Schools Chief of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Sherly Chavarria. You can support Chicago Debates by making a donation at or by texting CHIDEBATES to 243725.

About Chicago Debates: Chicago Debates is bridging the opportunity gap for Chicago Public School (CPS) students by providing them with an after-school program that supports their academic, career, and leadership success.  Our mission is to advance the educational achievement, community contributions, and life success of Chicago’s youth through the transformative power of academic debate.  We envision a world in which Chicago youth are empowered to find their voice, succeed in college and career, and become leaders in their community.  Debate may not fix all of the world’s problems, but it can shape the next generation of leaders who will. We exist to ensure that next generation includes some of Chicago’s most marginalized youth.