New York City, New York (March 1, 2019) – Next Generation Politics (NGP) is happy to celebrate National Speech and Debate Education Day on Friday, March 1st, 2019. NGP is also proud to recognize National Officer and Director of Publications Mateo Portelli as one of six national finalists for the National Speech and Debate Association’s distinguished 2019 National Exemplary Student Service Award.

NGP celebrates the life changing activity of speech and debate by calling upon our members nationwide, many of whom participate actively in speech and debate, Model United Nations, and other forensic activities, to share publicly why speech and debate matters to them.

As a cross-partisan nonprofit focused on equipping young people to understand their rights, roles, and responsibilities and strengthening their ability to engage with people from different backgrounds, appreciate multiple perspectives, and foster civic discourse, Next Gen Politics is a big proponent of the key tenets of speech and debate. We applaud Speech and Debate’s emphasis on conducting critical inquiry into key issues of our time, discussion across differences, deliberation, and effective communication–inclusive of deep listening. We’re proud that so many NGP members are also part of Speech and Debate and know that our combined efforts contribute to cultivating informed, engaged young citizens,” said Sanda Balaban, Executive Director of Next Generation Politics.

National Speech and Debate Education Day was created by the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) to recognize and celebrate the positive impact of speech and debate activities on students, schools, and communities. The NSDA is the largest interscholastic organization servicing middle school, high school, and collegiate students in the United States. On March 1st, 2019, there will be more than 1.5 million speech and debate alumni celebrating speech and debate education nationwide.

Speech and debate changes lives,” said J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the National Speech & Debate Association. “From increased attendance to higher test scores and a rise in college acceptance, speech and debate prepares young people for college, the work force, and beyond.

From local celebrations to the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C., the educational value of speech and debate will be celebrated near and far on March 1st, 2019. In addition to special events and programs, thousands will share personal stories of how speech and debate changed their life on social media using the hashtag #WeAreSpeechAndDebate.

Speech and debate offers students nationwide the tools to speak Truth and make meaningful change. It empowers students to find their voice and raise their voice with clarity and passion. In today’s age of polarization and strife, nothing is more important than that,” said Mateo Portelli, Director of Publications for Next Generation Politics and Bishop Gorman High School (NV) Congressional Debate Captain.

Speech and debate has taught me the essential skills i never knew i needed, whether it’s for a career in politics or just in everyday life! The ability to think and argue other points of view, research, and converse with just about anyone is astounding and I am forever grateful for the community of learning and support that NSDA has given me,” said Sachi Madan, Director of Partnerships of Next Generation Politics, NGP Blog Assistant Editor, and Newport High School (WA) debate alum.

Speech and debate has changed my confidence and taught me how to thoroughly research while encouraging me to develop my own opinions and not read for books of second opinions. It introduced me to a lot of problems plaguing our nation and, in conjunction with my work in Next Gen Politics, is the reason why I now want to work as a politician and make real change on the complex issues facing our country,” Chloe Wiley, NGP Blog Contributor and Spring Valley High School (NV) Debate team

“Before I joined speech and debate, my voice had no direction. I just had words with no meaning, stories with no endings, ideas with no message. After joining speech and debate, especially original oratory, I found a way to put my heart into words. Speech and debate has allowed me to speak up for what I believe in, which has led to so many opportunities, like meeting Michelle Obama and starting a nonprofit. I don’t know where I would be with its impact on my life.”–Riya Kataria, NGP Blog Contributor and Irvington High School (CA) Debate Team

The next NGP Civic Forum will take place on Sunday, March 10th from 11 AM – 2 PM EST at the Roosevelt House in New York City available for viewing via Instagram Livestream at @NextGenPol and at www.NextGenPolitics.org/Civics-Forum focusing on a topic ripe for speech and debate: Identity Politics, Shifting Demographics, and implications for politics, policy-making, and civil society

To learn more about Next Generation Politics, vitsit www.NextGenPolitics.org. For more information on National Speech and Debate Education Day, visit www.SpeechandDebateDay.org. To learn more about joining the National Speech & Debate Association, visit www.SpeechAndDebate.org.