Did you know that high school and novice levels of debate see roughly equal gender participation, but varsity high school and college levels do not? Why is it that only 20% of national debate championship winners in the last decade were women?
Earlier this week, U of M student Brittany Williams dropped by the Women’s Center to share the work she is doing with the Women’s Debate Institute (WDI), where she serves on the Board of Directors. The WDI is one non-profit working on these issues, and they host a tuition-free national institute for high school and collegiate debaters each summer, in order to increase the number of young women involved in debate, teach women to advocate for a more inclusive debate community, and help students navigate a healthy transition to college. Brittany let us know that from now through April 30, the WDI has a chance of winning $10,000 in the KIND Cause contest. Brittany explained that winning the KIND Cause can help them continue their work toward gender equity in the high school and collegiate debate communities, and allow them to take on projects like “developing a WDI rated program to objectively assess how well programs and camps protect the interests of women and gender non-conforming students.”