ADL Student Essay Contest: A Tribute to Moral Courage: Standing Up Against Injustice

  • December 13, 2021

ADL’s student essay contest: A Tribute to Moral Courage: Standing Up Against Injustice

2023 ESSAY CONTEST IS BACK!! Submissions due March 6, 2023!!

It’s time to plan those research paper writing assignments. This year be sure to include ADL’s A Tribute to Moral Courage: Standing Up Against Injustice – student essay contest! This inspiring essay contest motivates educators, students and families to research moral courage, social change movements to find the very best in humanity! We all need motivation to remember those ordinary people, that chose extraordinary actions for the good of someone else because it inspires each of us find those characteristics within ourselves.  SHARE THIS ESSAY CONTEST with your students, with children or grandkids in your life, with your youth group and sports teams to encourage and build student leaders! There are remarkable examples, from the past and in the present, of those fighting for a cause that creates justice, builds empathy and creates compassion for all of us.

This student essay contest uses the history of the Holocaust as a backdrop, 7th – 12th grade students are encouraged to recognize those individuals throughout history who took a strong stand on a specific issue based on their personal beliefs or convictions, regardless of the danger or threat to their personal safety. Not only will students write about how that person’s moral courage has an impact on the world, but also and perhaps most importantly, how those actions have influenced their own lives today. Foe examples, past essay winners wrote about Bob Marley, Cesar Chavez, Imani McGee-Stafford, Marsha P. Johnson and Irena Sendler, please check out the links below for more ideas and inspiration.

Student writers must be Colorado, New Mexico or Wyoming students in grades 7-12. Monetary awards will be granted to the top three winners in two divisions: Division 1 – 7-9th grade and Division II – 10-12th grades.  

Contest Rules & Submission Guidelines: Submissions due March 6, 2023!!

For full essay contest details, click here: 2023 Essay Contest FULL Rules & Guidelines

Download forms here: Essay Application Form  & Essay Reflection Sheet

Mailed Brochure (print double sided) here: 2023 Essay Pamphlet

Submissions can be submitted two ways – Submissions due March 6, 2023!!

  1. Snail mail – Instructions are above on pamphlet & full rules and guidelines. Use these links for the essay application form & reflection sheet.
  2. Electronically  – Submit all information on the following link and be prepared to complete application form & reflection sheet online. NOTE – a strong suggestion is to have answers to application form & reflection sheet prepared on a separate document, which will allow for an easy cut and paste to the form. Submit your essay here:

 NOTE to TEACHERS: Encourage your students to select someone that connects with their personal stories and backgrounds. If used as a classroom assignment, this essay meets several Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming State Standards in Reading, Writing and Social Studies:

  • 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.
  • W.7, Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

2023 Essay Winners will be recognized on April 19, 2023 at 5:30pm MST at ADL’s 2023 Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program. Stay Tuned for Registration for this event!

Read, Learn and Get inspired work by our past winners . Encourage your students to dive in!

Follow the links below:

2022 Student Winners

2021 Student Winners

2020 Winning Essays

2019 Winning Essays

2018 Winning Essays

Follow this link to read 2017 Winning Essays

Follow this link to read essays: 2016 Winning Essays

Essay winners - group shot






Follow this link to read essays: 2015 Winning Essays