"Don't raise your voice, improve your argument."

Nelson Mandela


What is Join the Debates?

This election season, middle, high school, and college students from across the United States will practice each week engaging their peers in substantive and civil conversation on issues important to the U.S. presidential debates and election. Join the Debates shows why it’s important and teaches you how to do it. Learn More


How it works.

For at least six weeks leading up to the U.S. presidential election, students will be leading and facilitating engaging discussions with their peers in classrooms across America. Join the Debates provides teachers and students curricular materials with step-by- step instructions, wide-ranging discussion topics, and advice and suggestions from educators who have successfully used the collaborative discussion method that is at the heart of the project. Join the Debates asks participants to:


Listening is key to effective communication. Listening means paying attention to another person – what is said, how it is said, and verbal and non-verbal messages. Really listening means not interrupting and working hard to understand how the other person thinks and feels.


Sharing requires active participation. It requires engagement. At its best, sharing means being open and honest. For sharing to feel safe, people need to be respectful of one another.

THen Decide.

Before you make decisions about weighty issues, make sure you have all the facts – the whole story. Without them, you likely will not make a good decision. Getting the information you need to make a good decision may require some patience and asking lots of questions.


“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate." 

 Margaret Heffernan



I want to join the debates.