60 Minutes Tells the Urban Debate League Story
June 5, 2003 -

60 Minutes, the award-winning CBS News magazine aired a feature segment on the national Urban Debate Network on Sunday, June 8th at 7 p.m. (eastern daylight time). The story focused on the Baltimore Urban Debate League as a lens through which to tell the UDL story of our Leagues in fourteen major cities throughout the country. There was long anticipation and excitement for this opportunity, as it exposed approximately 11 million households to urban debate. Known for providing a blend of hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news, 60 Minutes began its 34th season in September and is the most successful broadcast in television history.

The National Association of Urban Debate Leagues believes the Baltimore Urban Debate League has a compelling story to tell. The Baltimore Urban Debate League is administered through a partnership between the Baltimore City Public School System, Towson University, the Fund For Educational Excellence in Baltimore, and the Barkley Forum of Emory University. The Baltimore Urban Debate League has developed active debate squads in 18 of the 21 eligible Baltimore City Public High Schools.

Representatives from the Baltimore Urban Debate League (BUDL) took both first AND second place in the prestigious International Debate Education Association (IDEA) mixed team tournament, held this past summer in Slovakia. Shawntia Diggs, a graduate of Forest Park high school, advanced to the final round to face a team coached by the team of Andreas Spiliadis, her former debate coach at Forest Park, and Chris Baron, her future coach at Towson University, where Shawntia plans to debate this fall.

The 60 Minutes broadcast highlighted three key outcomes: 1) UDLs improve urban public education; 2) UDLs have strong university partnerships, which form a crucial part of their structure and programmatic offerings; and 3) they help equalize educational opportunity. The broadcast helped make the point that UDLs require local stakeholder investment if they are to continue transforming lives and improving urban public education. We encourage you to watch the segment and tell others. This is a unique opportunity for the urban debate movement to gain further interest from potential allies and friends in support of debate’s revitalization and sustainability in urban public schools.

To learn more about BUDL click here to go to their website.

To learn more about 60 Minutes facts, click here to go to the CBS News website.

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