Minnesota Urban Debate League
Augsburg University
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Attend our event at the UMN Liberal Arts Engagement Hub to learn more about how YOU can support East African students in the Twin Cities!
Are you looking for a way to support Twin Cities youth? Join us at the UMN Liberal Arts Engagement Hub to learn more about how you can participate in judging for the East Debate League, a powerful program that helps East African students build confidence, academic skills, and pride in their identity!


Join us in the UMN Liberal Arts Engagement Hub at Pillsbury Hall for light snacks and our presentation on these dates:
  • 3/16: 3:30pm-4:30pm
  • 3/22: 5:30pm-6:30pm


Pillsbury Hall
310 Pillsbury Drive Southeast Minneapolis, MN 55455


The Minnesota Urban Debate League, a program of Augsburg University, serves 9 districts across the Twin Cities Metro by providing the resources schools need to have successful debate teams. In 2015, with the help of community and on-campus partners, we hosted the Somali Debate Initiative Tournament – the first program of its kind in the nation. This tournament has grown into regular spring programming serving more than 100 students per year. In 2019, we rebranded the program to the East African Debate League, expanding our focus to include more students in these discussions about essential issues affecting the East African community.
From May-June, East African students debate a critical topic chosen by the community. Students have the opportunity to debate at three tournaments, leading to our special championship/community celebration event.
The East African Debate League provides far more than an opportunity for students to debate, including:
• Community-Building: These debates are open to a community audience of parents, friends, and elders, empowering students to become educators and increasing the collective understanding of East African community-centered topics. Previous topics have included charter versus public schools, rent control, remittances, and more.
• Empowerment to Take Action & Make Change: Students generate ideas in debate, creating their own equitable solutions to issues and are empowered to apply that knowledge in their own communities.
• Skills for School, Higher Education, and Beyond: Debaters in all programs improve their critical thinking skills, master the power of persuasion, grow civic engagement, build resilience, gain the intrinsic motivation to become lifelong learners – and much more.


As we return to in-person programming after several years of virtual tournaments, we need in-person judges who can work with us in the Twin Cities!
No experience with debate is needed. Judges watch debate rounds and then evaluate teams on argumentation, logic, and public speaking skills.
Volunteers receive a short training and all necessary materials prior to the start of tournaments. Please attend our event to learn more, including how to become a paid judge!
Register for the Event
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