Tulsa Debate League, 2020 ONE Awards Finalist

Linh M. Sasser, Marketing Coordinator, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) will host the 2020 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards on Friday, April 24, 2020, in Tulsa, Okla. In the weeks leading up to the event, we are spotlighting the 21 finalists in seven categories.

Tulsa Debate League (TDL), located in Tulsa, Okla., is one of three finalists in the Education Category for the 2020 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence Awards hosted by OKCNP.

According to GuideStar, TDL’s ruling year is 2015, in which they partnered with five schools and served 62 students.

According to the TDL website, debate aids in the success of students in urban areas with 90 percent of urban debaters graduating on time, while 80 percent are more likely to graduate from college. Students who participate in debate “learn how to communicate, explain complex concepts and how to articulate them to diverse audiences.”

Joshua Tacha, TDL alumnus from Will Rogers High School, credits much of his success to TDL. He and his mother, Michelle, experienced domestic violence in the past. TDL helped Joshua find his path, according to the No Argument article on the Tulsa Kids website.

“When I signed up for debate during my sophomore year, things really started to change,” said Joshua. “Sports were never really my thing. Debate helped me find my ground and I started considering college for the first time.”

At the time of the interview, Joshua had plans to attend the University of Tulsa.

TDL continues to grow through their programming, from supporting 5 schools and 62 students in 2015 to 35 schools and 500 students in 2020.

Support is provided to Tulsa area schools through professional development for coaches, including coaches’ workshops and mentorship, organized tournaments, funding travel and tournament costs, summer camp opportunities for students and partnerships with universities to offer access to college resources.

“Debate doesn’t have to be an exclusive club, offered only to a small group or students,” said Ross Faith, executive director, TDL. “It can be a transformative tool to positively impact all students, including students below grade level.”

To learn more about Tulsa Debate League, visit their website:

The Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards gala is dedicated to honoring the outstanding work of Oklahoma nonprofits statewide. The ONE Awards also serves as the primary fundraising event for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. Proceeds from the ONE Awards enable OKCNP to serve communities throughout Oklahoma.

To learn more about the 2020 ONE Awards or to purchase tickets visit

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