The Minnesota Urban Debate League serves over 500 young people in Minneapolis and St. Paul through academic competitive debate.

The Mission of MNUDL is to empower students to become engaged learners, critical thinkers, and active citizens who are effective advocates for themselves and their communities. The MNUDL accomplishes that mission by working with area middle and high schools to implement and maintain academic and competitive debate programs.

Help us open the door for more students to gain access to this proven, academically rigorous activity – make a gift!

Our students are incredibly hard working and devote much of their time to this highly educational activity. Take, for example, the typical story of a Minnesota debate tournament:

It’s 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night, and over 300 high school students have just finished debating – they have been competing since 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. The students will hop a bus back to their school, get picked up, and then return at 7:00 a.m. the next morning for another full day of competition on Saturday. In the past 24 hours, these debaters have participated in anywhere from 5 to 8 intense debate rounds, during which they will debate persuasively about a pre-determined resolution. These debates can cover topics ranging from global warming and nuclear weapons proliferation all the way to the current American political climate and its dynamics.

Why is the MNUDL committed to providing debate programming to urban students in the Metro? Because it has been shown to be an effective tool to alleviating the achievement gap in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Urban Debate League (MNUDL) began in 2003, partnering with 4 schools serving 35 students – we are now at 23 schools and will serve more than 500 students the year. In 2009, we became an official program of Augsburg College, and have worked with almost 1300 students since our inception. The MNUDL hopes to bring debate to even more schools and more students – will you join the movement?

In 2010, the National Urban Debate League published in a peer-reviewed journal a national longitudinal study of Chicago’s urban debate league. Dr. Mezuk, who conducted the study, found that:

  • Debaters vs. non-debaters were 40% more likely to graduate on-time from high school; this number increased to 70% for African American boys.
  • Debaters increase their reading comprehension by 3 grade levels after 1 year in debate
  • Debaters were able to increase their Reading ACT score from an average of 16, to 22, an indication of college-preparedness.

Our own students in Minnesota have had incredible success: 100% of our students graduate from high school on time, and 99% have been accepted to and have started college! This is why your financial support of the MNUDL is so important. It has a direct impact on how many more students we can reach with our mission of closing the achievement gap. Add the MNUDL on the list of organizations you will support today!

Because we are a program of Augsburg College, your gift to the Urban Debate League will go even further and directly support the kids. Augsburg has committed to providing our office space, utilities, IT support and more. Can you commit to UDL students so that they can experience this transformational activity? In an era when everybody is stretching their dollar, you can be sure that the full value of your donation is realized.

Thank you, and happy “Give to the Max” Day!

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    2211 Riverside Ave Campus Box 142
    Minneapolis, MN 55454
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    The Augsburg Fund helps provide financial aid, student services, research opportunities, and flexible support wherever need is greatest.
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