2011 Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest Winners Announced

2011 Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest Winners Announced


Humanity contest recipients announced.

Jonathan Calloway, East Tennessee State University, Class of 2011, has been chosen as the first place winner of the “2011 Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics” essay contest. The announcement was made by “The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity,” and its sole corporate sponsor, LRN, on Wednesday.

The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics is an annual competition that challenges college students in the U.S. to submit essays on the urgent ethical issues that confront us in today’s complex world.

Nobel Peace Prize

Commenting on the award was Elie Wiesel himself, a Holocaust survivor who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. “Today’s college students are listening to the ethical voices within. They are drawing on their memories and the lessons of their teachers, and are concerned with the morality of their private and public experiences. They are challenging us all to make a difference.”

Calloway, a psychology major, won first place for his essay, “Rocks in the Sun: Sous le ciel d’Haiti,” describing his experiences witnessing suffering and hope as a volunteer in Haiti. Said Calloway, “The Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics is the most prestigious award to receive. In Haiti, I received the award of humbleness and recognition that I must be the change I want to see in the world.”

Yale University Press Collection

Since the prize was first launched in 1989, thousands of young people have participated. In November 2010, Yale University Press published “An Ethical Compass: Coming of Age in the 21st Century,” a collection of outstanding essays from the first two decades of the prize.

Additional winners of the 2011 contest include:

Second Prize: Ethan Schwartz, University of Chicago, for his essay “The Children of Prophets: Intergenerational Transmission and the Ethics of Tradition,” in which he explores the ethics of tradition in Judaism and Biblical scripture and how they relate to modern Jewish thought.

Third Prize: Kanglei Wang, Yale University, for her entry, “The Ethics of Nationalism: A Sino-Tibetan Dialogue,” examining the political, cultural and social gulf which exists between China and Tibet.

Honorable Mention: Amy Schilit, University of Southern California, for her essay “Strangers in a Strange Land,” in which she analyzes the plight of African asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.

Honorable Mention: Rebekah Berger May, University of New Orleans, for her essay “Plank,” examining race relations in New Orleans.

Making Ethical Decisions

“These students view human endeavor through an ethical lens, creating a distinctly sustainable advantage in navigating our increasingly interconnected and ethically interdependent world,” said Dov Seidman, CEO of LRN. “These are the types of leaders we desperately need; individuals who think about the ethical dimensions of their decisions and actions, and who are inspired by sustainable values to propel their journeys of innovation, progress and significance.”


Washington University in St. Louis: Commencement 2011: A Time to Celebrate, Honor, Remember

JournalStar.com; Students, Holocaust education foundation observe Days of Remembrance; Paige Cornwell; May 1, 2011


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