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For Immediate Release:                                                              Contact: Jennifer Jones
September 22, 2021                                                            

Hundreds to Attend Chicago Debates Virtual Event Honoring Allstate for a Decade of Supporting CPS Students

Chicago Debates is excited to virtually host its 10th Anniversary Make Room for Debate, honoring longtime supporter Allstate as its 2021 Champion of Debate. Each year, hundreds of supporters gather for Make Room for Debate as an opportunity to hear directly from students and alumni of Chicago Debates about how debate has positively impacted their lives. This year’s event will feature Rhonda Ferguson, Allstate Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel.

“Allstate is proud to support Chicago Debates, especially in an era when all of us should be committed to presenting and listening to arguments in a civil and thoughtful manner,” said Ferguson. “Research shows that social and emotional learning skills, like resilience, empathy and teamwork, are a better predictor of lifelong success than academic ability alone, and increasing these skills results in both immediate and long-term improvements in school, work and life, regardless of background, socioeconomic status, interests and aptitudes. Learning, critical thinking, and dialogue are fundamental to solving many of life’s problems, big and small. This forum also reflects Allstate’s commitment to inclusive diversity and equity and youth empowerment. Through Chicago Debates, students develop the skills that will equip them for success in the future. Read Rhonda’s full bio here.

Attendees are in for a special treat this year as the event will feature Virtual Table Chats.  Having the opportunity to converse with students has been a favorite of previous in-person events.  So, guests will have an opportunity to do just that and chat with students and alumni at virtual tables.  Also, the event will feature an actual student debate on In-Person vs. Virtual Learning.

Make Room for Debate is:

Thursday, September 23, 2021

12pm-1pm CST

Ticket sales will close on Wednesday at 5pm, but for those interested in supporting, donations can be made at; by texting CHIDEBATES to 243725; or, by making a pledge at

The event also includes an online auction through Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 10pm CST. Prizes include: 6 exclusive tickets to a live concert by Marc Anthony; Dinner & Wine pairing for six at The Gage Chicago; Personalized autographed copies of A Promised Land by former President Barack Obama and Becoming by former First Lady Michelle Obama; 3-night stay in St. Joseph, Michigan; and more! Bids can be made at

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.