At the Bill of Rights Institute, we love to ask challenging questions. We also love to reward students who rise to the challenge by tackling some of the most compelling questions of our time. For this year’s We the Students Essay Contest, we are challenging students to tell us what civil discourse means to them. The students who provide the most thoughtful, meaningful responses to this question will receive scholarship awards of up to $7,500. A total of fourteen students will receive scholarship prizes totaling $20,000.
For this essay, we are asking students to not only share their comprehension of what civil discourse is meant to be but to also relate what it looks like when it works – and when it doesn’t – and why. Perhaps they will choose to include mention of a time when they, themselves, were part of an exchange intended to understand something – how did they go about it? We encourage them to bring emotion, creativity, specific examples (including current events), and well-researched facts into what they write.