About us

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​About the Bay Area Urban Debate League

​The BAUDL was found in 2008 in partnership with Oakland Unified School District and the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL). Lenny Gail met with old debate friend, Darin Snyder, in his kitchen one night in 2008 to propose a monumental project, founding a debate league designed to serve at-risk students - students who were falling through the cracks in our school systems. As a result of two old friends love for debate as an activity and generous desire to give that same experience to others, the Bay Area Urban Debate League was founded.  Blake Johnson, a Cross-Examination Debate Association collegiate national champion, was hired as the league's first executive director. Since 2008, the BAUDL has added three school district partnerships to join the ranks: San Francisco Unifed School District, Emery Unified School District, and most recently, West Contra Costa Unified School District. 

BAUDL is an education and youth development non-profit organization. Our mission is to expand opportunities for high school and middle school students in the San Francisco Bay Area to participate in evidence-based debate and to become articulate and informed leaders in their schools and communities. We envision a world where young people are equipped with strong voices, critical thinking, and leadership skills needed to succeed in college and the world. ​Given our personal experience and significant objective data, we know debate is one of the best tools for helping build that world!

Please see our previous Annual Reports for additional information about programs, outcomes, and finances. 

Current Partner Schools

Aspire Golden State College Preparatory​

Aspire Lionel Wilson College Preparatory

Castlemont High School ​

Downtown High School 

Elmhurst Middle School

Emery High School

Fremont Media Academy 

Frick Middle School

Helms Middle School 

James Lick Middle School

June Jordan School for Equity

Kipp King ​Collegiate High School 

Kennedy High School 

Madison Park Business & Art Academy 

Mission High School

Oakland High School 

Oakland Technical High School ​

​Raoul Wallenberg Traditional High School 

Richmond High School 

Sankofa Middle School

Skyline High School 

Vistication Valley Middle School 

Westlake Middle School

Willie Brown Middle School 

​Interested in Joining BAUDL?

​BAUDL is an urban debate program that serves diverse, low-income schools. Typically, a new BAUDL school would have a Title 1 percentage higher than 60% and be racially/ethnically diverse. If you are a high school or middle school interested in starting a debate program, please contact the Program Director for more information.​Please see our get involved page to fill out the Partner School Application.