Debate and Public Advocacy Institute

Speak up. Speak out. Build your confidence and skills; be your best advocate.

Spend one week this summer at Wake Forest building confidence speaking, arguing, and learning to passionately advocate. Students will engage in active, hands-on learning around topics they find interesting. A combination of speaking, videos, off-campus excursions, debating, guest speakers, researching, and plenty of time conversing provide students with the skills and experience to become better communicators. Whether in the classroom, the boardroom, or the halls of Congress, students will enjoy applying advocacy skills in whatever environment their future takes them.

*Wake Forest also offers competitive policy debate workshops for 1-6-week sessions. Information about the intensive Wake Forest debate workshops can be found here.

At a Glance

Dates: June 21-26, 2020

Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school and incoming college freshmen

Program Length: 1-week sessions

Program Tuition: $2,350

Location: Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest University Reynolda Campus

Day or Overnight Program: Overnight

*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University certificate of achievement will be awarded to all Debate and Public Advocacy Institute participants.


What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered

  • Fundamentals of Argument
  • Rhetorical Tricks
  • Finding Your Voice
  • Social and Environmental Controversies
  • Making Your Case
  • “Greatest” Debaters and Speakers

Hands-On Experience:

  • Exposure to guest speakers from business, politics, advertising and community organizations 
  • Practice speaking for self-empowerment
  • Compete in debates on student-driven topics
  • Participate in candid, live discussions about timely topics with peers
  • Go on excursions to watch public advocacy in action

*Hands-on experiences are subject to change.

Debate and Public Advocacy Institute Costs:

Reynolda Campus (Residential Program) | $2,350

A Day in the Life

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am – Arrive and breakfast
  • 9:00 – 9:30 am – Welcome and program introduction
  • 9:30 -10:00 am – Controversy of the day
  • 10:00 -11:00 am – Case study: video and discussion
  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Spar debates
  • 12:00 -1:00 pm – Lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm – Excursion to Winston City Center
  • 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Guest speaker
  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm – Discussion and craft your own advocacy
  • 4:00 – 4:30 pm – Wrap-up: Present your findings
  • 4:30 – 5:30 pm – Debrief for the next day
  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm – Dinner
  • 6:30 – 7:30 pm – Evening activities
  • 7:30 – 9:00 pm – Free time
  • 9:00 – 10:00 pm – Prepare for bed
  • 10:00 pm – Lights out

*This “A Day in the Life” sample schedule is based upon the 2018 curriculum and is subject to change. 

New Wake Forest faculty members pose for headshots during their orientation on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. Justin Green, Communication. Justin Green

Academic Leader, Debate and Public Advocacy

Justin Green currently serves as the Head Coach for the Wake Forest Debate team and Professor of the Practice in Communication Studies. A secondary teacher by training and a debate and speaking coach by practice, Justin has combined these efforts to lead several workshops to students and teachers ranging from grades 3-16. He has coached American Debate Association and Cross Examination Debate Association National Champions as well as three-time back-to-back champions of the ACC. He is known for immense energy and an active classroom where students do more talking than “being quiet”. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Justin is excited to extend the campus to new guests each summer.