GIRLS WHO DEBATE
An organization dedicated to promoting the interest of female-identifying students in debate. Far too often, women are discouraged from participating in parliamentary formats of debate. We strive to solve this issue at its root: information. Through our website, we provide women with a network of other female debaters and access to their own stories and advice. Moreover, we provide introductory resources to initiate interest and guide female students through their debate careers. Ultimately, as women in debate ourselves, we aim to allow women to feel empowered and able to share their voices through debate.
Co-Founder of Girls Who Debate
Kate Drum is a junior at Polytechnic School. She has competed in debate for six years and is the captain of her school team. She primarily participates in World Schools Debate, Parliamentary Debate, Congressional Debate, and HSPDP. Most notably, she championed the SCDL state tournament, and championed and placed first speaker at both the Damus Hollywood Invitational and the Damien Memorial Invitational. She has also broken and reached late outrounds at the Coppell Classic (placing first speaker), the Peninsula Invitational (placing 2nd speaker), the Harvard International World Schools Invitational, the Greenhill Fall Classic, the Cal Berkeley Invitational, the University of Oregon tournament, the Grapevine Classic, and the MLK Invitational. Internationally, she received 8th speaker and top 10 team at the Semiahmoo WSDC tournament in 2020. At the National Speech and Debate Tournament, she reached the Top 16 with her district team.
In addition to competing herself, Drum coaches and manages the middle school debate team at McKinley School (PUSD) in Pasadena. Outside of debate, Drum has served on her grade’s student government since the seventh grade and was elected 2021-2022 Associated Student Body President of her school. She is the president of her Model United Nations team, Ethics Bowl team, and is the chief copy editor of the Polytechnic's Paw Print Newspaper. Drum is the president of her school's United Nations Association (UNA) chapter, is on the board of the UNA-Pasadena chapter, and is the National High School Campus Fellow for the UNA. Drum is also a member of the moot court team and varsity tennis team, and sits on her school’s Judiciary Council. She is the recipient of the 2021 Global Expression and Thought Prize and had her writing published in the Global Education Benchmark Group's annual magazine, Interconnected.
“The purpose of Girls Who Debate is to empower and uplift women in debate. As a woman who has participated in debate for several years, I have experienced firsthand the truly special aspects of debate. Sarah and I created GWD both to encourage women to participate in debate, through advice and introductory resources, and complete advocacy work by qualitative and quantitative analysis. Our mission is to ensure that everyone has access to debate, regardless of their gender.”
Co-Founder of Girls Who Debate
Sarah Burke is a junior at Polytechnic High School in Pasadena. She has been competing for the past six years in HSPDP, Open Parliamentary and Worlds.
Highlights of her time debating include placing first speaker at CSU Fullerton and Peninsula, as well as winning Damien and SCDL State Qualifiers.
She also does Model UN, Moot Court and Ethics Bowl. In addition, Burke edits the news section of Polytechnic’s Paw Print newspaper and is a member of her grade’s student government. When she doesn't feel like arguing with people, Burke works in an environmental engineering lab, where she is the K-12 coordinator, at USC, as well as in solar research at Caltech. She also has two shelter dogs, who are quite possibly the most wonderful mutts that ever were or will be.
“My debate partner Kate and I co-founded this organization to help non-male voices in Parliamentary debate. We’ve experienced our fair share of sexism in the format as an all-female team. If I had to pick my favorite sexism story from debate, it would be tied between being POIed if I knew the three branches of government while I was talking about judicial overreach, and being flirted with by a college-aged male judge he gave us the because our equity centered case “did not properly respond to the fact that equity does not matter in a utilitarian world.” After our 105th venting session on sexism, we decided we needed to do something about it. We decided to create Girls Who Debate to help and uplift non-male voices in debate. We hope this website can be a resource for anyone who needs it. Reach out to us @girlwhodebate on insta or gmail, if you have any debate questions, personal stories you want to share or pictures of cute shelter dogs.”