The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and LRN Announce College and High School Student Winners of the 2014 Prize in Ethics Essay Contest, Now Celebrating its 25th Year

May 06, 2014, 07:04 ET from The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity

NEW YORK, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and its exclusive corporate sponsor, LRN, announced today that Christiana Whitcomb, Bowdoin College, Class of 2014, is the first place winner of the 2014 Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics essay contest.  This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Prize.

"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," said Elie Wiesel.

Whitcomb, a double major in Government and Legal Studies and Visual Arts from Southport, CT, won first place for her essay, "The Ethics of Intrusion," in which she reflects on her time volunteering on a Lakota reservation in South Dakota, and asks deep questions about race, its perceived relationship to money and power, and the possible impacts of blindly perpetuating this relationship.  Whitcomb comments, "I worry that the intrusion of my identity may in fact tarnish the work I attempt to accomplish"…"The reality for me, though, is that in each of these projects that I have been involved in, I am an outsider . . . [H]ow am I even remotely qualified to comment on the way another person lives?"

The Prize in Ethics Essay Contest 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. Thousands of young people have participated in the Prize since its inception in 1989.  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.  Earlier this year, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and LRN partnered with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools to introduce the Prize in Ethics at the high school level.

"For the past 25 years, the Elie Wiesel Foundation and its Prize in Ethics have had a profound impact on young people in inspiring them to pursue lives dedicated to doing something of meaning and significance in the world," said Dov Seidman, CEO of LRN.  "We are living in a more interconnected and interdependent world where the actions of any one person have the capacity to affect so many more people and in so many more ways than ever before.  It is a privilege to partner with the Foundation on its Prize so that together we can help shape a generation of young ethical leaders with the ability to consider the ethical dimensions of our world and the courage to act on their convictions."

Additional winners of the 2014 contest include:

About The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest
The Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics Essay Contest encourages students to write thought-provoking personal essays that raise questions, single out issues and are rational arguments for ethical action.  Submissions for the 2015 contest will open in the Fall 2014 Semester. The contest is open to undergraduate full-time Juniors and Seniors who are registered at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the Fall 2014 Semester. All submissions to the essay contest are judged anonymously. A distinguished committee reviews the essays, and a jury headed by Elie Wiesel chooses the winners. Winning essays present intensely personal stories, originality, imagination, and clear articulation and genuine grappling with an ethical dilemma.   For suggested essay topics and more information, visit

About The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
Elie Wiesel and his wife, Marion, established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity soon after he was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace. The Foundation's mission, rooted in the memory of the Holocaust, is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality. For more information: , "like" us on Facebook, or follow @eliewieselfdn on Twitter.

About LRN: Inspiring Principled Performance
Since 1994, LRN has helped over 20 million people at more than 700 companies worldwide simultaneously navigate complex legal and regulatory environments and foster ethical cultures. LRN's combination of practical tools, education, and strategic advice helps companies translate their values into concrete corporate practices and leadership behaviors that create sustainable competitive advantage. In partnership with LRN, companies need not choose between living principles and maximizing profits, or between enhancing reputation and growing revenue: all are a product of principled performance. LRN works with organizations in more than 100 countries and has offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Mumbai.  For more information, visit, follow @LRN on Twitter or join the HOW community on Facebook.

SOURCE The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity