Michelle Obama & New York City's Great Debaters!

by Erik Fogel | Oct 13, 2018 |

High School Debate League

Michelle Obama

"When they go low, we go high!" - First Lady Michelle Obama


This week we shout out Michelle Obama. In 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama invited the New York City Urban Debate League to the White House and honored us with the White House Youth Award as one of the top youth organizations in the nation. Champion Debater Starr Arroyo of the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice delivered a speech in the White House to First Lady Michelle Obama and hundreds of guests. And after the speech, Michelle Obama gave hugs to all our debaters!  Click here for the Video!  And a year later, our debaters were invited again to the White House and met President Obama in the Oval Office!  Indeed, President Obama stated, "You may not know you could be the next Mayor or Supreme Court Justice, until you join your school's debate team."


And today we are so honored to announce that Michelle Obama has invited the NYC Urban Debate League as well as our sister urban debate leagues across the country to attend her national Book Tour for her upcoming memoir, "Becoming."  In a new era of politics in America where our President and Politicians engage in extreme hostilities, online bullying over Twitter, racist, sexist and discriminatory rhetoric, verbal attacks on the Press and independent news, verbal attacks on each other, mocking and bullying of American citizens, the lack of basic communication and public speaking skills.... (and the list can go on and on unfortunately!)... Michelle Obama brings a new hope for America. 


Indeed, her latest motto perfectly sums up her philosophy, ""When they go low, we go high!"  She elaborated, "Think about how you want your kids to be raised. Do you want them afraid of their neighbors? Do you want them angry? Do you want them vengeful?".  She added that "fear is not a proper motivator," and that "hope wins out." 


And so we invited last week all NYC debate high schools to bring up to five guests each to Michelle Obama's event at the Barclays on December 19th.  Please see your high school debate coach about signing up. Tickets close on Monday. 


Once again, we would like to thank First Lady Michelle Obama and her husband for her incredible support of urban debate leagues across the country.  Indeed, the Obamas' Secretary of Education also invited our debaters to the United Stated Department of Education in Washington DC where he gave an incredible speech on the importance of urban debate leagues. Click here for full text.


“Competitive debate is one of the great equalizers of educational opportunity.  In a number of respects, competitive urban debate is almost uniquely suited to building what’s been called the ‘Four C’s’ of 21st century skills—critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. And to that list I might add a fifth ‘C’— for civic awareness and engagement.”  - US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan 



Michelle Obama



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