It may seem hard to believe, but in 2007, there was exactly one high school in the Houston Independent School District offering debate to its students. So two Houston lawyers, convinced by their own experience as students that debate develops critical thinking skills and engages students in learning, wrote an editorial calling on Houstonians to restore this educational opportunity to all of Houston's diverse communities. Houstonians, as they always do, answered the call.

The Houston Urban Debate League, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of debate, formed an innovative public-private partnership with HISD. After a decade working with HISD, HUDL formed a parallel partnership with the Harris County Department of Education to bring debate to even more schools. 

Some of us are former debaters. Some of us were debate moms and dads who saw what this activity does for young minds. Some of us just believe in making educational opportunity available for everyone. All of us love the kids we serve.

Over the last decade, we've served thousands of Houston-area students. We're now in more than forty high schools and a dozen middle schools. We've awarded more than a hundred thousand dollars in college scholarships. We've connected inner-city kids to professional mentors and educational opportunities. And every step of the way we've had one goal in mind: to help the future leaders of this great city find their voices.

Our Board of Directors

Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Andrew Edison

Partner, Smyser, Kaplan & Veselka LLP

Craig Smyser

Attorney, Jackson Walker LLP

Cameron Secord

Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP

Jason Powers

Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas

Marvin Isgur

Partner, McDermott, Will & Emery L.L.P.

Nathan Coco

Board Chair; 

Director of Debate, The Kinkaid School

Eric Emerson

Winston & Strawn LLP

Denise Scofield

Partner, Beck Redden LLP

Matthew Whitley

Attorney, Beck Redden LLP

Marcos Rosales

Partner, K&L Gates LLP

Michael Murphy

Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Gregg Costa

Founder & Owner, Space Services, Inc.

Charlie Chafer

Partner, Porter Hedges LLP

Heather Hatfield

Director, Speech & Debate, University of Houston

Richard Garner

Lecturer, University of Houston

Margaret Tellegen

Principal, KKR & Co.

David Roosth

Attorney, Liskow & Lewis

J.T. Kittrell

Counsel (Ret.), Gerger & Clarke LLP

Sarah Cooper

Partner, Bracewell LLP

Brad Benoit
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5535 Memorial Drive, Suite F-553

Houston, TX 77007


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© 2018 Houston Urban Debate League, Inc.

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