Our Program

Think. Communicate. Engage.

About Tulsa Debate

Debate prepares students to thrive in the 21st century. Debaters learn how to think critically - to unpack arguments, dissect research, and evaluate choices. They learn how to communicate - to explain complex concepts and articulate them to diverse audiences. And they learn how to engage in the world - to understand multiple perspectives and make an impact on the world. Research shows that debate can dramatically close the achievement gap in urban school districts - debaters are more likely to graduate from high school, meet college-readiness benchmarks and achieve greater cumulative grade point average than their peers.

The Tulsa Debate League is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supporting students and teachers in Tulsa Public Schools. As an urban debate league, we are dedicated to expanding access to the activity to schools and students who have traditionally lacked access. We organize competitions, fund programs and summer camps, and provide professional development to teachers and coaches.

Debate's Impact

Successful urban debate leagues make a dramatic impact on student achievement and life outcomes.

A growing body of research by academic researchers substantiates the remarks of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the 2012 Annual Dinner for the NAUDL: “Competitive debate is one of the great equalizers of educational opportunity…To be very clear, the experience of competing on an urban debate team boosts your college readiness and your chance to succeed in life.”

Our Schools

Tulsa Public Schools - High

  • Booker T. Washington High School
  • Central High School
  • Daniel Webster High School
  • McLain High School
  • Memorial High School
  • Thomas Edison Preparatory High School
  • Will Rogers High School

Tulsa Public Schools - Middle

  • Carver Middle School
  • Central Junior High School
  • McLain Junior High School
  • Monroe Demonstration Academy
  • Thoreau Demonstration Academy
  • Will Rogers Junior High

Tulsa Public Schools - Elementary

  • Dolores Huerta Elementary School
  • Gilcrease Elementary School
  • Kendall Whittier Elementary School
  • Mitchell Elementary School
  • Unity Learning Academy

Union Public Schools

  • Union High School
  • Union Middle Schools (6th, 7th, and 8th grade centers)
  • Ellen Ochoa Elementary School
  • Rosa Parks Elementary School

Other districts and partners

  • Charles Page High School (Sand Springs)
  • Clyde Boyd Middle School (Sand Springs)
  • Collegiate Hall
  • Langston Hughes Academy

Our Program

The Tulsa Debate League is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit partner of Tulsa Public Schools, Union Public Schools, Sand Springs Public Schools and several Tulsa area charter schools. Modeled after the most effective urban debate leagues in the country, we organize competitions, fund programs and summer camps, and provide professional development to teachers and coaches.

How we help schools:

  • Provide professional development to coaches, including hosting coaches workshops and mentoring coaches
  • Organize tournaments (see schedule)
  • Fund travel and tournament costs
  • Support summer camp opportunities for students
  • Partner with universities to offer college access resources

Our Board

Chair

Drew France

Director of Fund Development & Strategic Planning, Community Action Project

Mercedes Millberry Fowler

Community Affairs Representative at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

Conor Cleary

Trial Attorney, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior

Daniel Blaho

Founder and Director, DSB Creative

Mary Huckabee

Attorney, Conner & Winters

Marianne Brett

Counselor, Kendall-Whittier Elementary School

Taylor Burke

Attorney, Barber & Bartz

Emily Fuller

Development Coordinator, Oklahoma Caring Foundation

Aba Hammond

Inclusion & Diversity Representative, ONE Gas

Executive Director

Ross Faith

Salaried Executive Employee

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