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  • Writer's pictureHUDL Editor

HUDL announces Freeman public debate forum program

The Houston Urban Debate League (HUDL) is proud to announce the creation of the Dr. Thomas Freeman Virtual Campus Forum Series. The Freeman Forum Series is designed to encourage debate teams to reach out to their school-wide communities to create dialogue and discussion over criminal justice reform. HUDL invites students at member schools to apply to create and host one of these events with HUDL sponsorship.

Debate, as an activity, provides the skill set necessary to have dialogue during difficult times; to empower students to seek out expertise across a wide array of beliefs and ideas; and to provide forward-thinking solutions produced by student leaders of various debate programs. These forums could foster discussion of issues like Black Lives Matter, recent court decisions concerning the LGBTQ+ community, immigration reform, COVID-19’s unique impact on Latinx, African-American, and indigenous communities, and more. The local HUDL debate program is the single best student-led activity that helps facilitate that dialogue.

Students and coaches at participating schools will have ownership over their local forums, giving students a voice and developing skills of advocacy. They will design and host their own programs in consultation with their school administrations and HUDL. If requested, HUDL can assist with outreach to local and national law schools for speakers who offer subject area expertise on areas related to criminal justice. HUDL has approved participation by up to 20 schools with each participating school receiving $500 for successful completion of the project.

The forum series honors Dr. Thomas Freeman, legendary Texas Southern University debate coach, whose 70-year tenure left a legacy for both his students and his community.

To apply to host a Freeman Forum event, click here for a form. For additional questions, reach out to HUDL Board Chair Eric Emerson at

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