Chicago Debate Commission

  • IL


200 S. Michigan
Suite 1040
United States

About Us

The mission of the Chicago Debate Commission (CDC) is to advance the academic achievement, life success and community contributions of Chicago's urban youth by providing them with powerful skills in reading, research, critical thinking, public policy analysis, evidence-based argumentation, respectful advocacy, teamwork and communications, all through the mechanism of academic debate.

The CDC was founded in 1995 and, in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, launched the Chicago Debate League (CDL) with five high schools in 1997. Now, with 60-70 Chicago schools and 1,300 debaters each year, the CDL is the nation's largest urban debate league. Our students come from all over the city and all types of schools. Debate is a research-proven strategy to improve the academic outcomes for students across the spectrum, even those at risk of educational failure. Debate teaches skills recognized as critical to job success, while engaging students, inspiring them to college, and promoting effective civic engagement.