The CSU Fullerton Speech and Debate team, as a program of the Speech Communication Department, has been interested in using debate as a way to improve secondary education and reduce the inequalities that the educationally underserved endure.  In 1997, under the Rubric of the Daniel Webster Foundation, we supported a debate team at Santa Ana High School.  In the fall of 1999 we received funding from the Soros Foundation and became on of a growing number of Urban Debate Leagues around the country.  Partnering with the Debating Union at Claremont-McKenna College, we now support a large number of area high schools as part of the Southern California Urban Debate League.

Drawing on this experience, we (and good friend Dr. Ede Warner) put together a panel of papers discussing various aspects of our debate outreach experience.  The papers were presented at the 2001 meeting of the Western States Communication Association convention in C'oeur D'Alene, Idaho.  The full text of each paper is available by clicking on the titles listed below.

"First affirmatives, first negatives, and first generation students:  High school debate as a means of creating opportunities."  By Casey Arbenz and Sylvia Beltran

"Narrative Voice and the Urban Debater: An investigation into empowerment."  By Joshua Gregory and Kasim Alimahomed

"Tie tacks versus tie-dyes: A preliminary examination into the effects of dress on high school debate."  By Bill Neesen.

"Gone on Debating:  Competitve academic debate as a tool of empowerment for urban America."  By Ede Warner and Jon Bruschke.