Boston Debate League

BDL Celebrates 15 years of impact

June 3, 2022 | By Jackney Joseph

A Community Celebration and Reunion

Last night, the Boston Debate League held its 15th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion at District Hall Boston in the Seaport. We were overjoyed to see so many folks in attendance, including debate alumni, teachers, coaches, and volunteers. It is because of this vibrant community that the BDL is the strong, impactful organization it is today.

Photo of BDL Alumni by Kevin L. Fisher of  Kreative Fhotography

At the event, we heard from Fatuma Mohamed and Frezzella Cullinane, two After-School Debate alumni. They shared how debate provided them with community and a sense of belonging, and helped them learn how to use the power of their voices to advocate for real-world issues. With this background, both are now working in support of today’s young people – Fatuma as a Youth Advocacy Coordinator and Frezzella as a teacher and debate coach. We also heard from Chris Madson, a Debate-Inspired Classrooms Teacher Leader who shared how our instructional approach is the one he returns to year after year; Marisa Suescun, the longest-serving BDL employee and current Director of Programs; and Alison Eggers, our incoming Board Chair and one of the very first BDL volunteers. We’re grateful that these amazing individuals joined us to share the value of the BDL and what debate means to them.

We’re thankful for everyone who came out to celebrate this incredible milestone with us. We also want to thank and acknowledge our event sponsors, the Red Sox Foundation, First Republic Bank and District Hall Boston.

If what we’ve accomplished in our first 15 years is any indication of what the future holds, we know that the BDL and the young people we serve will do great things. Watch the BDL’s 15th Anniversary video and join the celebration!

Kelly Cody, Senior Volunteer Manager, joined BDL in 2021
Joshua Nixon, ASD and Resolved Program Manager, joined BDL in
Douglas Matute
Douglas Matute, Program Manager for Debate en Español, joined BDL in 2022
Ranner Faugas, Assistant Director of After-School Debate, joined BDL in
Roger Nix, Assistant Director of After School Debate, joined BDL in
Carlos Monteiro, Instructional Coach for DI Classrooms, joined BDL in
Sarah Mayper, Senior Instructional Coach for DI Classrooms, joined BDL in
Marisa Suescun, Director of Programs, joined BDL in 2013
Kimberly Bartlett-Ra, Director of Operations, joined BDL in
Kim Willingham, Executive Director of the Boston Debate League , joined BDL in
Jackney Prioly Joseph, Director of External Affairs, joined BDL in September 2020. Jackney leads our efforts to engage and partner with community and corporate organizations to create a community of support for our students. She previously served as Director of College and Career Readiness at the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. She has diverse leadership experience in education, nonprofits, and city government where she served under Mayor Thomas M. Menino and former City Councilor, now Congresswoman, Ayanna Pressley. A Bryn Mawr and Posse Foundation alum identified for her extraordinary leadership, Jackney works to secure partnerships that will tap and sharpen the leadership skills of our program participants.