The Women’s Debate Institute is a national debate camp for high school girls. Each year we bring girls from around the country to develop their debate skills, build a community of supportive women, and encourage women to continue to debate in college. In the past, this camp has been well supported by colleges and universities with policy debate programs. While this support is essential, I believe that we should also bring schools with a wider range of debate options. I would love to see more parli, LD, worlds, and other programs support the WDI.
This is the second year we have offered the camp tuition-free to girls who apply with some debate experience. Several years ago, we moved the camp from Port Angeles, WA to Minnesota to make it easier for girls around the country to attend. However, many girls still cannot afford to attend, so we offer travel stipends. This year we have phenomenal interest in the camp, and thus have exhausted our funds for these stipends. However, we still have girls with need. Any amount you can donate will help these girls get to a camp that will help them improve their debate skills, build connections with the debate community, and hopefully inspire them to go to college and continue competing.
Rather than continue to talk about the good work we do at the WDI, I’d like to let the girls speak for themselves.
[I]“I feel that the debate world is one of the very few places where women are allowed to be completely assertive. I am naturally a very confident and outspoken person, and I want to meet women who share these qualities.”
“Girls are discouraged from competing due to the fears of harassment, ostracism, and objectification.”
“I am incredibly dedicated to this activity and grateful for the home it has provided me, and I would love nothing more than to be able to spend part of my summer with other women who feel the same way.”[/I]
[I]“I acknowledge the hardships that women face in the debate community, and I would like to do my part in alleviating those barriers. I know I have so much left to learn, and I am convinced that there is no one better to learn from than the ladies of the debate community.”
“I need to work to get to a place where I exude confidence. It is my hope that being surrounded by strong, intelligent women like those who make up your staff for several days will give me insight into how to achieve this goal.”
“Qualities associated with good debaters, such as confidence, leadership, aggression, and even intelligence, are more often associated with men. Moreover, the disparity of female role models forms a cycle because girls can be reluctant to put themselves out there. Much of this stereotype is subconscious and the only way to diffuse it is by example. I hope that with the help of WDI, I can become one of those proud examples and meet other girls like me.”[/I]
[B]There are two ways that you can help the WDI. [/B]
[B]1. Create a fellowship through our University Fellows Program. [/B] For $350, your team will sponsor the attendance of a talented debater at the WDI. Our fellows will receive a travel stipend, take a leadership role at camp, and be announced through various social media.
[B]2. Become a WDI University Sponsor.[/B] Donate any amount ? $50, $100, $1000 ? and we will use those funds to finance travel for our students, special events at camp, and travel expenses for our all-volunteer staff of incredible college debaters.
You can do either by simply going to this link http://womensdebateinstitute.org/donate and making a donation. Just note what university the donation is from and we’ll take it from there. And, aside from helping a worthy organization, you’ll also get the following benefits.
Provide a student with an incredible debate experience
Be recognized on our website and Facebook page
Sponsor a table of debaters at our opening dinner (fellowship sponsors only)
Connect with motivated female debaters who want to debate in college
Be a part of the WDI community
Benefit from the on-going mission of the WDI ? to increase the diversity of the debate community, a community we all love and strive to improve!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Executive Director, Women’s Debate Institute