WHAT WE DO
The Walter P. Carter Leadership Institute (WCLI) is a advocacy training program for youth. Our program serves young people in high school (ages 14 to 18) and will be trained in advoacy, activism and public policy. The program aims to sharpen their advocacy skills and enhance their understanding of social, political, and economic issues.
Regional and national debate competition is the primary pedagogical method we use for leadership development.
Students engage issues ranging from nuclear weapons policy to local grassroots struggles against structural racism. Our strongest debate students will be sent to compete on the national level where they will achieve at the highest levels of the activity.
This program is an operated by Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS).
WHY WE DO IT
For well over 100 years, competitive academic debate has been a uniquely effective training ground for politicians, business executives and other leaders in American society. However, as struggling school districts came under budgetary pressure, many debate programs were cut in the districts with the most need. While elite private schools continue to compete, public schools do not receive the benefits academic debate provides to students, teachers and schools.
There are many debate formats, but team policy debate is the oldest and most rigorous type of competitive debate. With thousands of high schools competing on the same national topic for an entire year, students gain what has been compared to a graduate school level of expertise in content areas such as energy policy, Constitutional law or foreign relations.