Gender Empowerment Initiative

The APDA Gender Empowerment Initiative (GEI) was formed in 2015 to create awareness about issues that women, trans, and non-binary individuals face in debate, as well to empower those individuals and provide education for the entire APDA community. It was formerly known as Women’s Initiative (founded in 2011; incorporated as a committee in 2013), but expanded to reflect a more gender-inclusive approach to equity on APDA. As the oldest intercollegiate parliamentary debate league in the nation, APDA provides a unique forum for excellent and competitive debate. Like most debating organizations, however, APDA continues to struggle with lower participation rates and less competitive success for non cis-male individuals. In its current form, GEI has made strides towards understanding and alleviating these unequal outcomes through research and resources, many of which are available on this website.

GEI works to foster community among minority groups in debate, both in-person and online. Our current and past programs include Gender Empowerment Hybrid Program, joint GEI-EOF gender-equity analysis project, and workshops hosted at tournaments throughout the year. You can join our Facebook group and keep up with our activities through posts on the APDA forum. If you have questions about APDA, gender issues in debate, or related topics, feel free to email the current GEI  coordinators at

To submit anonymous feedback to GEI, please use this form: