Open to Debate Podcast Features High School Debate Champions

28 May 2024

Open To Debate is a superb debate podcast that teaches the media and listeners how to hold civilized and informative debates instead of partisan screaming matches.



Nonpartisan media organization Open to Debate has led the way in civilized debates—for adults and educators—in the U.S. for over a decade. For their latest episode, though, they’re going back to school, covering a recent high school debate championship of a new startup organization called Incubate Debate.

Just as Open to Debate does on the grownup level, making debate available to a broad national audience free of charge, Incubate Debate aims to democratize the art of debate for high school students, offering competitive training and tournaments at no cost to participants. The winners of the championship, including first place champion debater Briana Whatley, were awarded scholarship funds made possible by Open to Debate.



Open to Debate CEO Clea Conner explains what debate can do for high schoolers:

“The erosion of civil discourse that we’ve seen in institutes of higher learning this semester is alarming. The ability for students to consider views they disagree with and respond with civility and respect has become all too rare. We believe in the power of debate to teach critical thinking, active listening, empathy, and the ability to marshal evidence to understand complex issues. We are confident these students will model a more thoughtful way forward for their generation.”

Open to Debate reports from Jacksonville, Florida, hearing from some of the ninety kids competing, the best from their schools who were whittled down from over 5,000 who competed across 22 individual tournaments during the school year. They came from all backgrounds and all variety of schools (public, private, charter, and homeschool). In addition to Conner herself, judges included former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and “Street Epistemologist” and author Peter Boghossian.

Check out Open To Debate to hear a rare event — an actual debate, high schoolers learning their debate craft, and an important topic such as DEI.