Is the WDI really tuition-free?

Yes! As a 501(c)3 non-profit, the operations of the camp are fully funded by our generous donors. The WDI is tuition-free, and travel stipends are provided to all students who need them. Travel stipend applications will be provided to accepted students this summer.

Where can I learn more about the Anti-Harassment Training program?

You can find more information about the Anti-Harassment Training program on our website, and you can request information about scheduling, curriculum, and pricing by emailing us at womensdebateinstitute@gmail.com.

Who is encouraged to apply to the WDI?

The Women’s Debate Institute is focused on empowering students who identify as women, transgender, and gender non-conforming students. As the debate community is often a cis-male-dominated space, we are focused on creating an educational space that is inclusive of gender minorites.

Who are our partners and what do they have to say about us?

We have worked with an extensive array of organizations, including the National Speech and Debate Association, Washington Urban Debate League, Bay Area Urban Debate League, DebateDrills, Public Forum Academy, LearningLeaders (international partner, China), and Victory Briefs Institute.

What is included in the Anti-Harassment Training?

All training sessions will be customized to the needs of the individual program. However, our training typically delves into the following topics.

  1. Challenges: We will discuss the ways in which biases intertwine with typical adolescent behaviors to snowball into an atmosphere of bullying and harassment if left unchecked. Relevant issues such as microaggressions, call-outs and making amends will be addressed. We will also identify the aspects of speech and debate team policies, practices and culture that provide room for bad behavior to occur.
  2. Prevention: We will teach you how to create a speech and debate program with a culture of fun and respect. We will provide your program with the information needed to craft effective policies, set clear boundaries, deliver consistent responses to mistakes and better understand the impact of harassment and bullying. 
  3. Intervention: We help you learn how to identify and respond to warning signs for harassment and bullying. We focus on empowering both coaches and students to stand up on behalf of one another through an evidence-based technique called “upstander intervention.” This method of response builds community and helps to shut down bad behavior before it spirals out to damage individuals and the team.
How was the Anti-Harassment Training developed?

Our training includes material from the American Camping Association, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Safe Zone Training, Green Dot Training, Futures without Violence and the American Educational Research Association. We are constantly updating our curriculum by keeping tabs on relevant research and taking courses aimed at increasing youth safety, fighting bias and creating more inclusive environments. At the same time, we are a team of experienced communication professionals and savvy current and former speech and debate coaches and competitors. We leverage that experience to adapt best practices to the unique speech and debate environment.

What makes the Anti-Harassment Training different from others?

WDI’s training sessions are conducted by live, skilled trainers with experience in speech and debate. Our work always begins with a one-on-one consultation to understand your program and needs. Our sessions are interactive, with opportunities for staff and students to respond to specific scenarios and develop actionable ways to create a culture that prevents bullying and harassment at your organization.

While this training includes general content about preventing and responding to bullying and harassment in high school and college settings, our training team has used our extensive experience working at and with speech and debate institutes, teams, and organizations to make all aspects of this training relevant to our unique culture.

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