Boston Debate League

What We Believe

All young people in Boston are
ENGAGED in critical discourse
INFORMED by evidence

All young people in Boston are ENGAGED in critical discourse INFORMED by evidence EMPOWERED to lead


Our mission is to integrate argumentation and competitive debate into public schools in Boston to develop critical thinkers ready for college, career, and engagement with the world around them.

Commitment Statement

We offer debate and argumentation programs for young people in Greater Boston, with a commitment to serving students of color and other students who have been denied these educational opportunities. We tailor our programs to address the educational inequities they experience, and strive to create inclusive learning communities where all participants are welcome and supported in achieving the transformative, lifelong benefits of debate.


Power of Young People: We value the unique perspectives and capabilities of young people. Our programs hold students to high expectations and are designed to support students in becoming agents in their own learning, realizing their potential, and leading change in society.
Analytic Discourse: We believe that the skills learned from debate and argumentation are critical to dynamic and effective schools, organizations, and societies. In all our work, we encourage curiosity, examine bias, speak authentically, consider alternative perspectives, and ground discourse in evidence.
Diversity and Inclusion: Diverse voices in positions of power and influence are essential to the health and vibrancy of the BDL. We strengthen our organization and the learning communities we facilitate by championing inclusive and equitable leadership, decision-making, and discourse.
Racial and Social Equity: We recognize that many young people in the communities we serve experience deep, persistent racial and social inequities. We address these fundamental issues of justice and fairness by expanding access to transformative educational opportunities, where young people are able to lead conversations and challenge injustice.
Joy In Learning: We are a learning organization, and we believe joy is a primary motivation for lifelong learning. We provide educational experiences that are fun and encourage openness, collaboration, appreciation, and thirst for further learning.