Through the Gandhi/King Peace Scholarship essay contest, the Student Government Association and the Illinois Community College Trustees Association give current students the opportunity to participate in this writing prompt. Currently enrolled students are invited to participate in this writing competition. You may win up to $1500*. 


The winning Oakton student will receive a $500 prize and have his or her essay entered in the 2024 statewide Gandhi/King Peace Scholarship Contest. The winner of the Statewide Contest will win a scholarship of $1,000 for Spring 2024.


Writing Prompt and Directions:
Both Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., advocated for nonviolence as the way to confront the hate and discrimination that so often accompanies the disrespect of other human beings. The work and words of Gandhi and King are both an example and a road map for the way forward for our country.


As a community college student, outline a plan that will educate the members of your college community about the scope of the problem and the elements of and rationale for a nonviolent response. In the description of your plan, draw on the lives and writings of Gandhi and King.


Entries are judged based on:

  • Demonstrated understanding of the significance of the work of Gandhi and King
  • Content, strength and persuasiveness of argument
  • Personal goals and involvement in peacebuilding efforts
  • Writing style, clarity of expression and correct grammar and punctuation


Submissions must be no longer than 500 words in length. Submissions must also be typed in a single-spaced business letter format.


Email your entries on or before Friday. February 16, 2024, by 5 p.m. to The email subject line must say: Peace Essay. Submissions must include a title page with the student's name, phone number, and email and Oakton ID number.


Students can pick up copies of the flyer for the contest at the Office of Student Life in Room 1530 (DP campus) and Room A130 (SK campus).

For any questions about the contest, please email

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