Welcome to the 8th Grade Rhode Island

Gandhi Essay Contest 2017-2018!

The Gandhi Essay Contest Finalists 2016-2017
The Gandhi Essay Contest Finalists 2016-2017

Each year, the Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies hosts the RI 8th Grade Gandhi Essay Contest. The purpose of this contest is to celebrate the life teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and to encourage Rhode Island students in Grade 8 to think critically about, personally connect with, and to become nonviolent peacemakers in their schools.


  1. Students research and write an essay addressing the prompt of maximum 750 words, 12 point font, 1″ margins.
  2. Teachers will select and submit only the three (3) best essays from each class. For teachers who have multiple sections or classes, you may select 3 from each class that you teach.
  3. Teachers have the option of submitting essays electronically. The portal for this submission online will be open as the deadline grows closer. Submission by traditional US postal mailing is also accepted. Any submissions sent in the mail should be postmarked by the deadline, January 30, 2018.

Essay Prompt:

Mahatma Gandhi was an inspirational leader and dedicated advocate for nonviolence and peace. He believed in helping and serving others. He led his life through chosen paths of nonviolence, spirituality, honesty, discipline, and loyalty.

One day when Gandhi’s train was exiting a station, a European reporter eagerly approached his window, asking, “Do you have a message I can take back to my people?” As it was Gandhi’s day of silence, in accordance with his demanding speaking schedule, he did not reply. Instead, he passed a scrap piece of paper back to reporter containing these scrawled words:

Gandhi Quote Handwriting

Write a personal essay in which you:

  1. Explain what this quote means to you.
  2. If your life were your message, what would that message say?
  3. Discuss how you think your generation can include Gandhi’s ideas of truth, nonviolence, and honesty in your school and community.


Gandhi Essay 2017-18 Flyer

Gandhi Essay Rubric 2017-2018

Gandhi Cover Page

Relevant RI Common Core Standards

Essay Submission:

Deadline Tuesday, January 30, 2018.

Submit Essays Here!


The contest is an interdisciplinary collaboration among the URI Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies and the URI School of Education.


Congratulations Michael Garman!

Gandhi Essay Reading 2017

Michael Garman reads his 1st Place winning essay at the 7th Annual Gandhi Essay Ceremony, May 2, 2017.

Read Michael’s First Place Essay Here!

Think Big We Do

Copyright © 2018 University of Rhode Island.