Six students will compete for a cash and, more importantly, to get their message out to the Goshen community about issues of peace and justice, during the annual C. Henry Smith Oratorical Contest. The contest will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Umble Center.
"Goshen College has a history of campus engagement of critical themes and of servant leadership and activism that arises from our core values, and this year's speech contest participants are boldly adding their names to the list of those who are willing to take a stand for those values," said Rachel Lapp, assistant professor of communication.
And for some of the students, the interest in engaging these topics comes from a more personal connection to the issue. According to Lapp, Analisa Gerig-Sickles, a senior, will discuss the political and social justice issues surrounding last year's immigration raids in Postville, Iowa, and will share from her experience volunteering in a church that helped immigrants after the raid. Hoa Nguyen, a senior, will share her concern about human trafficking in her home country, Vietnam, and other southeast Asian countries. Ben Baumgartner, a first-year, will relate his experiences in learning Arabic at a mosque in Wichita to his topic on Muslim-Christian relations. Héctor Valera, a sophomore, will talk about gang awareness and prevention in the local community.
Also participating will be Alison Brookins, a sophomore, who will speak about eating locally, and Isaac Yoder-Schrock, a first year, who will speak about health care.
"I hope there is a lot of interest across campus in hearing these thoughtful, well-prepared speeches about issues that are affecting our world," said Lapp.
List of participants:
Alison Brookins: "Eating Locally: Sustaining Creation Through Our Community"
Ben Baumgartner: "Peace Between Us: Finding Hope for Muslim-Christian Relations"
Analisa Gerig-Sickles: "No Mas Redadas" (No More Raids)
Hoa Nguyen: "Human Trafficking: Where is the love?"
Héctor Valera: "Gang awareness: Help and Prevention"
Isaac Yoder-Schrock: "National Healthcare: Caring for Others"