This is not just another writing contest.
Since 1998, the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV) has issued a challenge to the young people of Chicago and over 50 communities around the United States. Each year, middle school students from across Chicago are invited to consider the causes of youth violence and to make a commitment to seek peaceful, constructive lives.

The primary initiative of the NCSV is the "Do the Write Thing Challenge" Program ("Challenge"). The "Challenge" gives middle school students an opportunity to examine the impact of violence on their lives in classroom discussions and in written form by communicating what they have seen to be the causes of youth violence as well as solutions to help decrease the violence in their communities. By encouraging students to make personal commitments to do something about the problem, the program ultimately seeks to empower them to reduce violence in their homes, schools and neighborhoods.

The primary goal of the DtWT Challenge Program

"Prompt participating students to think about their role in society and to realize that they have a responsibility and the power to change their environment. By taking time to consider what an individual can do and then to put their thoughts into written words, each child comes to accept not only themselves, but their neighborhoods and cities as well."

Chair of Chicago

"I knew that violence came in many forms and I knew I did not like it. It takes courage and energy to be good leaders and it's very difficult for one person to do it alone. So, I am inviting you to participate in this writing Challenge to stop violence. I know that together we can make a difference."
Robin Hulshizer, Chair