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For Immediate Release:                     Contact: Jennifer Jones
March 5, 2021                             

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

Chicago Debates will wrap up its 2020-2021 middle school debate season with its City Championship Tournament tomorrow, Saturday, March 6th.  The virtual City Championship is the culminating event of the season and will bring together nearly 200 middle school students from roughly 20 Chicago Public Schools to compete for the team title of Middle School Debate Champion.  In teams of two, students will be debating on 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 last March due to COVID-19.  During the current school year, about 800 students have participated in the 43 tournaments hosted by Chicago Debates.  “We are so excited and proud to have completed a full year of virtual debate! This season has required a greater level of innovation, collaboration, and persistence from everyone involved at Chicago Debates. This culminating event will allow us to celebrate the incredible commitment and accomplishments of our debaters and coaches,” said Director of Programs Anthony Bolden.

The closing award ceremony will include the presentation of the season’s Coach of the Year Award along with remarks from Chicago Debates Executive Director, Dr. Toinette Gunn and Chicago Public Schools Chief of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Sherly Chavarria.  The schools competing this weekend are:

Agassiz Elementary School

Brooks Academic Center

CICS Wrightwood Elementary School

Oscar DePriest Elementary School Frazier International Magnet School

Haines Elementary School

O. A. Thorp Scholastic Academy
Edgar Allan Poe Elementary SchoolSkinner North Classical SchoolSkinner West Elementary School

South Loop Elementary School

Hedges Elementary School

Kilmer Elementary School

KIPP One Academy

Lincoln Elementary School
Lindblom Academic Center

Nathan Hale Elementary School

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 includes some of Chicago’s most marginalized youth.