This essay contest uses the lens of the Holocaust to educate students about the ramifications of present-day stereotyping, prejudice, racism and anti-Semitism. The Holocaust provides a context for exploring the dangers of remaining indifferent and silent in the face of the oppression of others. In addition, this essay contest invites the writer to learn about moral courage and the personal and societal benefits that may be realized by standing up to injustice.
Although there is no single definition, moral courage can be defined as displaying an altruistic act in spite of the substantial risk of being persecuted for doing so.
The purpose of this contest is for you to (i) explain how historical or present day events illustrate or command an act of moral courage, and (ii) express your connection with, or thoughts regarding, such events or acts. Your research and writing should focus on how one person can make a positive impact.
Rules & Guidelines
You will be automatically disqualified if you violate or fail to meet any of the above rules & guidelines (e.g., failure to meet the bibliographical requirements).
Step 1: Contextual Research
Learn about the Holocaust, and specifically the actions of those who resisted the Nazis by displaying various forms of moral courage. Although there are many sources available for your research, it is highly recommended that you consult the Righteous Among Nations information on the Yad Vashem website:
Consider other historical and present-day acts of moral courage or situations in which moral courage is required.
Step 2: Specific Research
Select and research a historical or contemporary event in which moral courage is highlighted. Although some students may be tempted to skip Step 1, it will be impossible to write a successful essay for this contest without having the necessary contextual background. It will be apparent in your submission.
Step 3: Pre- Writing Reflection Sheet
On a separate sheet of paper to be attached to the application:
Step 4: Write
Write an essay that includes the following:
Common Core - Arizona State Standards
As a classroom assignment, this essay can meet several Arizona State Standards in Reading, Writing and Social Studies. For example:
RH 11-12.7, requiring students to Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media in order to address a question or solve a problem.
RH 9-10.9, requiring students to compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
RH 6-8.10, requiring students to be able to read and comprehend history/social studies texts, independently and proficiently.
The following websites provide valuable information:
|Award||Division 1 Grades 7-8||Division 2 Grades 9-10||Division 3 Grades 11-12|
*Additionally, certificates of recognition will be awarded to the top ten essays in each Division.
Discretionary awards may be given to teachers for a variety of reasons (e.g., number of students who participate in this essay contest, percentage of students in a single class who participate in this essay contest, number of students who receive a certificate of recognition, etc.).
Echoes and Reflections Essay Contest
ADL, Arizona Regional Office
One E. Camelback, Suite 670
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Winners will be notified in mid April 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
"How far that little candle throws its beams; so shines a good deed in a naughty world." - William Shakespeare