October: International Day of

Non-Violence and

Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday

(October 2nd)

The International Day of Non-Violence is on October 2nd, to honor the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. According to the United Nations, the International Day of Non-Violence reaffirms "the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence" and the desire "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence." Quoting the late leader’s own words, "Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."

Individuals like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and so many others dedicated to the philosophy of non-violence have changed the world, silenced the most aggressive enemies, and won over opponents with every weapon at their command - not through battles and bullets, but through love, through peace, through words. And so this month we celebrate the individuals and organizations who dedicate their lives to peace.

Topic: Select a past or present advocate for peace. An "advocate" can be a single person or organization. How did they make the world a better place? What can we learn from them today? (Examples - Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr ., Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Doctors without Borders, Amnesty International, the United Nations, etc). For additional help, click here for individuals and organizations who has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." - Gandhi

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world." - Gandhi

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us and the world will be as one.” —John Lennon

 

"If you don't know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he's just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It's one world, pal. We're all neighbors." —Frank Sinatra

 

"When you make peace with yourself, you make peace with the world." —Maha Ghosananda

 

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” —Jimi Hendr

Deadline: October 31st

Each of our tournaments will kick off on the 1st of each month and end on the last day of each month. Students have a month to prepare and submit a speech. Please submit all entries by the end of day. Unfortunately, we cannot accept late entries for fairness to all participants. 

Original Oratory Tournament

Students record and submit a 1-5 minute video speech delivering an original speech on the monthly topic. Please review our guidelines before submitting. Students can participate in both Tournaments of Original Oratory and Speechwriting. 

Speechwriting Tournament

Students submit a written speech on the monthly topic. Elementary students should submit a 200-500 word count speech. Middle School, High School and College should submit a 500-1000 word count speech. Students can participate in both events of Original Oratory and Speechwriting. 

Awards

Everyone is a Winner: The #1 fear of the majority of adults is public speaking. So whether you participate in one of our tournaments, or our tournaments every month - you are already a winner and developing lifelong skills. Public Speaking is one of the most powerful superpowers in the world! 

Certificates of Participation: Online Certificates of Participation for all students.

Medals, Ribbons, Trophies. Ribbons, Medals and Trophies are awarded and mailed to the top winners of each division. Divisions include: Elementary School Division, Middle School Division, High School Division, and Collegiate Division. *Please note because of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine rules, we estimate we will be mailing out awards this summer (July/August). *

School Sweepstakes Awards: Trophies and/or medals are awarded to the schools with the most entries.  The First Place School in addition to their Sweepstakes Award will win a $100 Pizza Party Gift for their Great Debaters and Teachers!

Public Showcase. Top awardees will be featured on our website, social media, and e-newsletters.

* Please note that because this is a free program, we reserve the right at any time to change or cancel any events, awards, certificates. If the number of entries exceeds our volunteer and judge capacity, we reserve the right to limit the number of entries. Additionally, we are not responsible for any lost awards, ribbons, medals, trophies, gift cards, etc. Please understand as a free program managed by volunteers, we reserve the right at anytime to change or cancel any part of our program. And please share with us any feedback so that we can improve our program.

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2020 NYC Elementary School Speech & Debate League