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Diversity and Inclusion

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Our Commitments

Each year, the NSDA solicits recommendations from coaches’ caucuses that convene at the National Tournament to help drive diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts for the following year.

Read our 2020-2021 Equity Commitments approved at the Sept 2020 Board of Directors meeting.

Learn more about our 2020-21 Judge Accreditation and Equity initiatives announced on Aug 21, 2020.

Read our statement on George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

You can also read about our past inclusion work in the following articles found in the 2019 November December Rostrum, 2018 September/October Rostrum and the 2018 February/March Rostrum.

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Inclusion Resources

Join us in making speech and debate a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive activity. You can download our free resources below to help make your team and your tournaments more equitable for all. Thank you to our members of the Coaches’ Caucus and other community members for significant contributions in developing these materials. Visit our Resources page and use the “inclusion” filter to the left of the screen to find related items to find more resources.

Please take and share with your judges our cultural competency judge training course.

Coaches’ Caucuses

The NSDA coaches’ caucuses are a great opportunity to network with other coaches and join in important discussion and dialogue. Please check back for schedule of their meetings this summer.

Black/African American Coaches' Caucus
Black/African American
Adesuwa Omoruyi, TX
Jharick Shields, MS
Aaron Timmons, TX
Hispanic-Latinx Coaches' Caucus
Tony Ugalde, CA
Victoria Beard, TX
LGBT+ Coaches' Caucus
Crawford Leavoy, NC
Elle Barts, NE
Womxn Coaches' Caucus
Jamelle Brown, KS
Kim Lenger, MO
Asian American Coaches' Caucus
Asian American
David Long, PA
Kris Igawa, OR
Persons with Disabilities Coaches' Caucus
Persons with Disabilities
Victoria Freeman, NE
Jan Pizzo, OR

Please remember that participants should abide by the NSDA harassment and discrimination policy at all times.

Harassment and Discrimination Policy


The National Speech & Debate Association is committed to providing its participants, judges, coaches, and staff the opportunity to pursue excellence in their endeavors. This opportunity can exist only when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect. The NSDA prohibits all forms of harassment and discrimination. Accordingly, all forms of harassment and discrimination, whether written or oral, based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by any applicable federal, state, or local law are prohibited, whether committed by participants, judges, coaches, or observers. Individuals who are found to have violated this policy will be subject to the full range of sanctions, up to and including removal from the tournament premises.

— Approved by the NSDA Board of Directors on December 13, 2018


Tournament Invitation to School Administrators

Inviting administrators from area schools to attend local tournaments is a great way to spread the word about speech and debate and make our activity more inclusive! Download our letter templates for inviting school administrators with and without speech and debate programs.

Black History Month

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Women’s History Month

Celebrate Pride Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Posters Image

Pride Month

Celebrate Pride Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The Third Thing Institute: NSDA Executive Summary

The NSDA conducted a multicultural organizational assessment in 2018, inviting the organization’s coaching leadership, including district and caucus leaders, to share their opinions of our progress in many areas of work including our resources, practices, standards, Code of Honor, Coaches Code of Ethics, and leadership.

The results of that survey, which garnered approximately 160 external stakeholder responses, were provided along with caucus recommendations to the Third Thing Institute, headed by Dr. Sherry Watt at the University of Iowa, for further analysis. After review of the feedback we received through both channels, the Third Thing Institute recommended we focus on external training and leadership this year.

The following executive summary includes survey data collected by the NSDA leadership from both their internal staff and external members of the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA). Data was collected around the time of the National Tournament in 2018.