Summer Institutes


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BAUDL offers 2 different Summer Institute Programs

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We host the Julia Burke Debate Institute in Oakland for any middle school or high school student interested in learning more about debate. We also send experienced BAUDL debaters to other institutes across the country by providing National Summer Debate Institute Scholarships. Both of these programs provide exceptional learning opportunities for Bay Area youth. Students participating in summer debate institutes get a jumpstart on the new year's debate topic and gain valuable guidance from outstanding instructors. Skills learned in camp can really give students the competitive edge over their opponents.


​Julia Burke Debate Institute (JBDI)
The JBDI is a one week immersion into speech & debate, taught by some of the best urban debate instructors in the country. Each summer, over 100 students come together to participate in 5 days of engaging, fast-paced learning through workshops and lectures led by accomplished debaters. Throughout the week, students learn and practice new techniques and then put those skills to the test in a tournament at the end of camp. The JBDI was founded in 2008 and now serves both high school and middle school youth, focusing on advocacy and critical thinking skills.

For more information about this year's camp, click here!
JBDI Program Highlights
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JBDI group photo
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Varsity debaters at the JBDI
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Combat summer learning loss
Summer learning loss is the decay of retained knowledge that happens when students are not actively learning for a prolonged period. The effects of summer learning loss are generally more evident in low-income students, especially in reading comprehension and word recognition.

BAUDL is working to counteract this phenomenon by providing a fun yet academically challenging program during the summer. The JBDI not only engages students directly in reading comprehension and speech, but also helps students transition from summer break back into the school year. Urban debate is a tried solution to combatting literacy decay specifically and also offers motivation for students to read complex texts and expand their vocabularies.


Camp is affordable!
The JBDI rivals any other week long institute, but is offered at a fraction of the cost. This program is not a fundraiser. The sole purpose of the JBDI is to provide all Bay Area students with access to a high quality debate institute. 95% of students attend the JBDI completely free of charge. All BAUDL partner school students, and others who qualify as low-income, attend the institute at no cost. All other students still receive the best rate in the state of California - a week long camp for $300. Meals, supplies, instruction, and a tournament are included for all JBDI participants.



A great opportunity for new and experienced debaters alike
The JBDI provides quality instruction through different workshops (labs) that are tailored to align with varying skill levels. Labs are categorized into novice, junior varsity, and varsity levels. Whether students are experienced debaters or completely new to the idea of debate, we provide the tools they need to move forward and succeed.

The JBDI serves more students with no debate experience than any other institute in California. We offer a welcoming and encouraging environment as students begin to develop their debate knowledge and build confidence.



Quality instructors are key
We invest in talented, competitive instructors from around the country who can connect with the realities of urban youth while providing the highest quality instruction. Students look up to these debate role models and are excited to meet and learn from them. Diverse students and instructors bring a variety of insights, experiences, and ideas to the JBDI.


Middle school camp
To tie in with the BAUDL's new middle school program, the JBDI now serves middle school students as well. BAUDL is proud to be partnered with the Girl Up club of Mission San Jose (MSJ) High School. 
Girl Up is a movement focused on empowering and uniting girls to change the world. Girl Up MSJ has helped develop curriculum for the JBDI middle school labs and has also provided experienced public forum instructors. Many thanks to Lavanya Singh, founder and president of Girl Up MSJ.
​National Summer Debate Institute Scholarships
Summer debate institutes take place all over the country and provide advanced instruction for debaters looking to expand their knowledge and improve their speaking skills. Each summer, BAUDL provides the funding and support necessary to send 20 advanced debaters to national institutes. We are proud to be partnered with the CAL National Debate Institute and the Gonzaga Debate Institute, both long-time supporters of BAUDL youth.

Each summer institute ranges in length from 10 days to 4 weeks and provides a vast amount of information for debaters to take in. Debate institutes give students the chance to prepare for the upcoming debate season through in-depth research workshops and expert coaching from a diverse range of instructors and elite college debaters.  The focused environment is ideal for students to practice and hone their debate skills.

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Christine Harris, Dartmouth Debate Institute
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​Azariah Cole-Shephard, Eddie Conway Liberation Institute
​Summer Institute Scholarship Program Highlights
Making institutes affordable
These prestigious institutes are expensive, often costing up to $6,000, which is extremely prohibitive for low-income students. Almost none of our students would be able to attend any of these camps without tuition and travel scholarships.

Through summer institute scholarships, BAUDL levels the academic, economic, and competitive playing field, giving our students the valuable opportunity to attend these debate camps, completely free of charge.


Advanced opportunity
Only high school JV and Varsity level debaters are eligible to receive a national summer debate institute scholarship. All interested debaters must submit an application and 20 lucky students are carefully selected by a committee of teachers and debate professionals to attend camp. Students gain a wealth of information while learning from accomplished instructors.


One of a kind experience
The experience students gain through the summer institutes is something that cannot be replicated. Not only do students receive a wealth of debate knowledge, but they are also given the opportunity to take part in a valuable adventure. Students travel to a new place, spend time on a college campus, make new friends from around the country, and acquire new insights into the world around them.


College Aspirations
Our students get the rare opportunity to spend time studying and living on a college campus while still in high school. They learn from college professors and interact with successful college debaters. This kind of environment can have a huge impact on students and allows them to actually see themselves on a college campus. Our debaters often leave with the student-initiated belief that they are ready for college and that they can succeed.


Past scholarship locations
Each year we decide which summer debate institutes will be the most beneficial to our students.  Some of the institutes that we have sent students to in the past include:

Barking Bulldogs Summer Debate Institute - Fresno, CA

CAL National Debate Institute - Berkeley, CA

Dartmouth Debate Institute - Hanover, NH

Eddie Conway Liberation Institute - Balitmore, MD

Emory National Debate Institute - Atlanta, GA

Gonzaga Debate Institute -  Spokane, WA


UMKC Summer Debate Institute - Kansas City, MO

University of North Texas Mean Green Workshops - Denton, TX

Women's Debate Institute -  Palisade, MN