An Initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence
All across America, students are responding to the problem of youth violence. The Do the Write Thing Challenge gives middle school students an opportunity to examine the impact of youth violence on their lives in classroom discussions and in written form by communicating what they think should be done to change our culture of violence. By encouraging students to make personal commitments to do something about the problem, the program ultimately seeks to empower them to break the cycles of violence in their homes, schools and neighborhoods.
The Do the Write Thing Challenge (DtWT) is an initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV) a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan, organization composed of community, business and governmental leaders who have come together to reduce youth violence in communities across the United States. (Click here for description of other NCSV programs)
In each participating jurisdiction, the program is overseen and administered by a local Do the Write Thing Committee which is a coalition of business, community and governmental leaders dedicated to the reduction of youth violence in their city, county or state. (Click here for listing of participating localities)
Since its inception, it is estimated that over 1,600,000 students have participated in the Challenge. During the 2013 school year, an estimated 210,000 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students participated in NCSV-sponsored classroom discussions about youth violence. Over 71,000 of these students chose to accept the “challenge” by submitting writings to their local DtWT committee and by initiating violence reduction efforts or volunteering in existing ones.
Over 2,000 “school finalists” were honored at local recognition ceremonies and had their writings published and distributed locally. In July, two “national ambassadors” from each participating jurisdiction were honored at a national recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C. The National Campaign to Stop Violence and our founding sponsor, the Kuwait-America Foundation, host the ceremony.
During National Recognition Week, national ambassadors have the opportunity to present their views on youth violence to such national leaders as the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of the Interior, the Attorney General of the United States, the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and Members of the Congress. In addition, their writings have been published and placed in the Library of Congress, and the NCSV has published a Discussion Paper on the Causes of and Solutions for Youth Violence based upon the writings of this year’s DtWT National Finalists.
The future of the Do the Write Thing Challenge depends upon continued support from individuals and organizations concerned with stopping youth violence. Our goal is to spread the positive results that we have had to as many cities, counties and states as possible. To learn more about DtWT, volunteer or offer your financial support, please contact our office.