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Bughouse: The Voice of A New Generation

July 28, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Calling all youth thinkers, activists, orators, artists, poets, dreamers, and doers.

Join the Bughouse Youth Soapbox at the
2018 Bughouse Square Debates!
Saturday, July 28 from Noon to 4pm
Register to speak. It’s a snap.

Totally Free

Exercise your First Amendment rights at historical Washington Square.

Ground Rules:
• Speeches under 3 minutes.
• Participants under 25 years old.
• Solo, pair, team, whatever. Bring it.
• Your words or someone else’s with attribution.
• Competitive, if that moves you.
• Hate has no home here. Racist, sexist, homophobic, gender-biased, ableist, or otherwise derogatory speech that is degrading to any specific group of people will not be tolerated.

Truth and justice will prevail.

//Full Event Schedule//
12pm Live music from Environmental Encroachment
1pm Welcome Rick Kogan, Master of Ceremonies
1:10pm Presentation of the 2018 John Peter Altgeld
Freedom of Speech Award to the University of Chicago
on behalf of President Robert Zimmer
1:25pm Performance by Genesis Academy Summer Institute Students
1:35pm Main Debate
2:30pm Soapbox Speeches, including the Youth Soapbox
organized by students from GCE Lab School
3:30pm National Youth Poet Laureate Patricia Frazier performs while the Soapbox Judges make their decision
3:45pm Dill Pickle Awards to the Soapbox Champion and category winners. The Windy City Pickle Speaker of Truth Youth Bughouse Award to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Edie Canter, Executive Director of the Chicago Debate Commission.

//Youth Soapbox Awards//
Windy City Pickle Speaker of Truth Youth Bughouse Award
As a rule, grownups cannot be trusted. They have left us a ginormous mess. However, we honor some exceptional old-people doing a rock-solid job righting wrongs, slaying dragons, and empowering youth voice (since we’re the ones who are going to need to clean it all up).

This year’s Speaker of Truth Awards will be presented to:
Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General
Edie Canter, Executive Director of the Chicago Debate Commission

Our esteemed panel of Bughouse judges will determine award winners in the following categories:

• Windy City Dill Award •
The highest honor. This award goes to the most memorable speech of the day.

• Firestick Award •
Given to the most passionate speaker.

• Cauliflower Award •
Given to the speaker who draws attention to an under-recognized issue.

• Green Bean Award •
Given to the youngest speaker.

• Beer Briny Award •
All talk is exhausting. Coveted spectator award for the person or group adding the most color and charm to our Bughouse. Humor, costume, theatrical appeal, sparkle and general good vibes are always a plus.

• Future Leaders Awards •
Given its tireless work to protect the most vulnerable among us, student organizers have chosen the ACLU of Illinois’ Next Generation Society to receive the Protector of Everything We Hold Dear Award. On behalf of ACLU’s Next Generation Society, Peter Hanna will be honoring all Youth Bughouse participants with the Future Leaders Award.

// Food Trucks //
La Cocinita
Gobble Doggs
Beavers Donuts

// Information Tables //
About two dozen local organizations and causes will set up information tables in the park, with volunteers to answer your questions. Would your organization like to be represented? Write to publicprograms@newberry.org or call 312-255-3610.

Special Thanks To:
The Newberry
Chicago Free For All Fund
Forte Chicago
Moms Demand Action
Gather Activsim
Full Belly Pickles
Environmental Encroachment
Synergeo Domes
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
Chicago Women Take Action
League of Women Voters
Southwest Youth Community Alliance

Have an organization or cause that wants to table or sample? Give a shout to: publicprograms@newberry.org 312-255-3610.

Learn more about the history of Bughouse Square Debates and the famed Dill Pickle Club at newberry.org

GCE Lab School is an independent High School that cultivates global citizens ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Through blended, project-based learning, we foster a diverse community of learners who use the city as a classroom to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to courageously take action locally and globally.

Supported by a grant from the Chicago Free for All Fund at the Chicago Community Trust.


July 28, 2018
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Gather Activism
GCE Lab School
Newberry Library
League of Women Voters of Illinois
Southwest Youth Community Alliance


Washington Square Park
901 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60610
+ Google Map