Minnesota Urban Debate League Named a 2021 Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award Honoree


The Minnesota Urban Debate League was named as a 2021 Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award honoree. It is one of two programs statewide to be honored. The award is presented for excellence in the development of character strengths and ethical leadership skills. The honorees received the award on May 18 at the Character Recognition Awards ceremony, which included statements from Secretary of State Steve Simon and Darrell Thompson of Bolder Options.

The Minnesota Urban Debate League, a program of Augsburg University, addresses the inequity of access to academic competitive debate by providing programming opportunities to Twin Cities middle and high school students. The process of becoming a debater cultivates the leadership qualities of critical thinking, ethical argumentation and empathy towards others. The program’s mission is to empower students to become engaged learners, critical thinkers, and active global citizens who are effective advocates for themselves and their communities.


“The best way that debate has sculpted me into a better citizen is the ability and openness to receive conflicting arguments and ideas, and receive them in a way that’s not angry, not mad, but very logical, respectful and engaging,” said Tyler Moroles, former South High School debate participant.


The Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award was created by the Minnesota Character Council to spotlight character and ethical leadership development, honor organizations with exemplary efforts, motivate honorees for continued effort and success, and inspire others with examples to replicate.
Organizations are nominated, then apply for the award which is reviewed by a blue-ribbon evaluation panel. Synergy & Leadership Exchange administers the award and has honored 32 programs since 2011.

“In a time when divisive, negative news dominates the headlines, it is inspiring to see the great things students, schools, community groups and individuals are doing to encourage and promote good character and ethical leadership in Minnesota,” shared Wanda Sommers Wall, executive director for Synergy & Leadership Exchange.


Synergy & Leadership Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering collaboration to advance the development of ethical citizens, providing educational resources, and celebrating achievement and best practices in Minnesota schools, businesses and communities. Learn more about the Minnesota Ethical Leadership Awards and Synergy & Leadership Exchange at www.synergyexchange.org.

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