Our Mission

The Bluegrass Debate Coalition (BDC) works with Kentucky schools to make competitive debate available to every high school student. ​

The BDC believes that debate increases student academic performance, enriches and expands their college and career opportunities, and provides the intellectual and networking tools for youth to thrive as active, responsible leaders in their communities. ​We are working to achieve our mission by developing accessible educational resources, supporting the development of new debate programs, and hosting low-cost online tournaments.


Who We Are

The Bluegrass Debate Coalition is led by Program Coordinator, Katie Humphries. Katie has been involved in Speech and Debate for nearly a decade, with experience in over a dozen events across thirty states.  Learn more about Katie, here.

Katie is joined by the staff and students of the University of Kentucky Debate Team, led by Director of Debate Dave Arnett. Learn more about the team here. The BDC is guided by a decorated and experienced Advisory Board made up of debate and industry professionals. Meet our Board here.


Digital Speech & Debate

The BDC is an extension of the Digital Speech & Debate Initiative (DSDI), a program of the University of Kentucky Debate Team. ​The purpose of the DSDI is to promote the growth and impact of debate, using online tools to support accessibility to debate.

In 2020-2021, the DSDI focused on three core areas: developing best practices and norms for digital speech and debate, providing curriculum development and training for students and coaches, and being a source of continuous online tournament administrative support. Learn more about the DSDI and access resources for online debate here.