Eight students participated in the 2013 contest on March 22, thus letting their voices for peace be heard. Each speaker applied the Christian peace position to a contemporary concern in 1,500 or less words (8-10 min).
Below are all of the 2013 student participants.
L-R:Taylor Waidelich, Mariah Elliott, Josh Kanagy, Jossimar Díaz-Castro, James Souder, Bekah Enns, Corben Boshart, Emily Harnish
Emily Harnish, a senior bio-chemistry major from Strasburg PA, won first place with her speech, “Lessons from the hymnal in an election season.” She will receive a cash prize and entry in the bi-national competition with winners from other Mennonite-related colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Read the news release.
Bekah Enns, a senior history major from Winnipeg Manitoba, was one of two runners-up with her speech, Language as Lived Reality: Developing a Discourse of Peace."
Josh Kanagy, a senior psychology major from Chambersburg, Pa. was the other runner-up with his speech, “Molding Peace Within: Reflections of a Recovering Workaholic.”
Other 2013 contestants
- Corben Boshart, “Seeking Unity in the Mennonite Church”
- James Souder, “Redistributing Food, An Opportunity for Peace”
- Jossimar Díaz-Castro, “A Christian, Democratic Immigrant Witness & Participation Today”
- Mariah Elliott, “Are You Who You Say You Are?”
- Taylor Waidelich, “Restoring Justice to Educational Discipline”
CONGRATULATIONS to all eight contestants for compelling speeches! Listen to the eight speeches.
About the contest
The annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest, established in 1974 by the directors of the C. Henry Smith Trust, offers students an opportunity to discuss peacebuilding and social justice issues on campus. The intercollegiate competition is administered by the Peace and Justice Ministries of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Undergraduate students from every Mennonite and Brethren in Christ college in North America are eligible to participate.
C. Henry Smith was an American Mennonite historian and professor at Mennonite colleges and the University of Chicago. Overall, he taught history for nearly 50 years at the collegiate level. 1 He is well-known for his numerous books on Mennonite history and his particular attention to the peace commitments of the Mennonite tradition.
The first-place winner in the competition at EMU receives a $250 cash prize and entry in the intercollegiate competition. Participants may earn one hour of peacebuilding and development (PXD) course credit. Orations apply the Christian peace position to a contemporary concern without exceeding 1,500 words (eight to 10 minutes spoken word). Read contest guidelines for more info or submit your name as a contestant in the next contest – 2014.
EMU has participated in the event since 2003, with EMU students winning the grand prize at the bi-national level in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2011. The contest is sponsored by EMU Bible & Religion, Language & Literature, and Peacebuilding & Development programs.
Online resources for orators
Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, Article 22
And No One Shall Make Them Afraid – Mennonite Church USA Statement
Fellowship of Reconciliation web site
Peace & Justice Support Network web site
Recent EMU winners
2012 Rose Byler, Living in the Tension: Social Services and Systemic Change. Bi-national 3rd.
2011 Jessica Sarriot, Hold on, Together. Also the bi-national winner.
2010 Jessica Sarriot, Peace Churches and War Profits: A Moment for Courage. Bi-national 2nd.
2009 Laura Cattell, Structural Violence in the U.S. Educational System. Also the bi-national winner.
2008 Anna Engle, Called to True Pacifism
2007 Nicholas Stoddard, Connect the Dots. Also the bi-national winner.
2005 Sharon Kniss, Engaging the Terrorists: A Discourse on Living with the Other
2004 Jeremy Yoder, Flooding Isengard: Why a Peace Church should be a Green Church. Also the bi-national winner.
2003 Zachury Kurtz, A Taxing Dilemma. Also the bi-national winner.
*EMU did not participate in the competition in 2006.