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For Immediate Release:                                           Contact: Jennifer Jones
September 23, 2021                                        

Nearly 200 Guests Attend Chicago Debates’ 10th Anniversary Make Room for Debate Virtual Event Honoring Allstate for a Decade of Supporting CPS Students

Today, Chicago Debates virtually hosted its 10th Anniversary Make Room for Debate luncheon. 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. The event was well attended with nearly 200 guests and featured Virtual Table Chats with students and alumni of the program. “The opportunity to converse with students has been a favorite of previous in-person events, so we wanted to make sure to offer that this year,” said Dr. Toinette Gunn, Executive Director.  Guests were also able to cast their vote for the winner of the student debate on In-Person vs. Virtual Learning.  Attendees voted Virtual Learning as the winning argument!

As this was the 10th Anniversary of the event, Chicago Debates honored longtime supporter, Allstate, as its 2021 Champion of Debate for a decade of support and featured Rhonda Ferguson, Allstate Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel. Re-watch the event here.

Debate demands that you do your homework and not only learn the nuances of a position, but also, just as importantly, how others look and view the world. Chicago Debates also reflects Allstate’s commitment to inclusive diversity and equity, as well as youth empowerment. Students develop the skills that will equip them for success in the future; Allstate is committed to making that future as bright as possible,” she said. Read Rhonda’s full bio here.

Those interested in supporting can make donations at; text CHIDEBATES to 243725; or, make a pledge at


Chicago Debates is also hosting 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.