Catherine Bergs, a student at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont., and Jubilee Dueck Thiessen, a student at Canadian Mennonite University when she gave her speech earlier this year, came second and third in the 2020 intercollegiate C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest administered by Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
Bergs placed second with her speech, “Passivity was never a virtue,” winning $225 in cash and a $200 scholarship to attend a peace conference.
Dueck Thiessen placed third with her speech, “Stewards of joy: Answering the call of ecological shalom,” winning $150 in cash and a $200 scholarship to attend a peace conference.
Ronit Goswami, a student at Goshen (Ind.) College, was named the winner of binational oratorical contest. Goswami entitled his speech about homelessness around the world as well as locally in the town of Goshen, “Finding peace in the trenches: The war on homelessness.” He spoke from his experience growing up in Bangladesh but challenged listeners to recognize the gravity of homelessness in the United States as well.
“At times, we are drawn to this issue in developing countries but refuse to recognize that it’s directly under our noses,” he said.
Goswami received a cash prize of $300 for being the first-place winner, as well as a $500 scholarship to attend a peace-related conference or seminar of his choice.