NYCUDL High School Tournament 4 Martin Luther King Jr Debates

2018 — Brooklyn Technical HS, NY/US

Martin Luther King Jr. Debates 


 Martin Luther King


In the month of January we celebrate one of the greatest debaters and speakers of all - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Growing up in Atlanta, King attended Booker T. Washington High School. He became known for his public speaking ability and was part of the school’s debate team.  MLK continued debate in college at Morehouse. And the rest is history. MLK became one of the leaders of the civil rights movement, and the greatest orator and public speaker in American History.  He used the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience inspired by Gandhi and his religious beliefs.  MLK received the Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal, and MLK Day is a US federal holiday.


While medals, trophies, awards and winning records are all nice in debate.  They are only plastic and fancy titles. The most critical lesson in debate is how you can use the power of speech and debate for good. If you are just using debate for wins and trophies - you are losing out on the most important benefit of speech and debate - the power to change the world.  Or even worst - being silent in the face of injustice, wrong and evil.  That is the most important lesson of debate - to speak out, to not be silent, to listen to others, to question others, to work with others, to communicate with others, to respect the opinions of others, and to peacefully persuade others on your opinions.


And so in January we dedicate all our tournaments to the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. and every other civil rights activist past and present who are changing the world with their words.  And that is why we host the January MLK Debates to inspire our next generation of civil rights leaders. Because every day and every moment we must speak out in the face of injustice.


The MLK Debates will be a traditional NYCUDL Debate Tournament with 3 rounds and an awards ceremony. Special MLK books will be awarded to top speakers of the tournament. All participants of the MLK Tournament will receive MLK Day stickers and pins.


The MLK Debates are not just for debaters but also for the community. Volunteer judges make all our debates possible. So please come by to learn more about the NYC Urban Debate League. We provide judge training and orientation for all new volunteers before the tournament begins.