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Read “Exploring Cultural Competence in the World Schools Debate Community” by USA Debate Team Manager, Cindi Timmons.


When the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) began in Australia in 1988, six nations participated: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Over the years, the event has expanded, culminating in 2016 with fifty-six nations represented at the WSDC in Stuttgart. While debating teams from six continents have been represented, the increasing variety of participants from non-Western nations and the growing diversity of the debaters themselves in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc., means that it is time for the global debating community to examine how inclusive it is and to evaluate its cultural competence as an organization. This paper seeks to address the current state of cultural competence in the organization and how WSDC might become even more inclusive.