NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- David Olin, senior at the University of California, Berkeley, is the winner of the 2019 Prize in Ethics Essay Contest. The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, in partnership with LRN and LRN Founder and Chairman Dov Seidman, announced the winners today as the Elie Wiesel Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary of the Prize in Ethics.

Olin’s winning essay, “The View from My Window: The Ethics of Using Violence to Fight Fascism,” examines the ethical ramifications of political violence through the lens of both the 2017 Berkeley protests and the Jewish resistance against Nazis during World War II in the Warsaw Ghetto. Olin, a Political Economy major and Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholar, writes: “Fascism is so antithetical to tolerance and freedom, that if they are protected hate can never grow. If in the past such values have given way to fascism, then that is only the more reason to defend the principles of liberal democracy today. The best weapons against hatred are words and ballots.”

An annual competition, celebrating its 30th year, the Prize in Ethics Essay Contest, which was established by Professor Elie Wiesel and his wife, Marion Wiesel, challenges college students to address the urgent and complex ethical issues that confront us in the modern world. Since its inception, thousands of young people have written essays for consideration. After Professor Wiesel’s death in 2016, The Elie Wiesel Foundation and LRN have continued the Prize in Ethics Essay Contest in honor of Professor Wiesel’s legacy and memory.

Also recognized in this year’s contest are Isabel de Katona of Barnard College, Columbia University, who received second prize for the essay, “Global Citizen,” and Matthew Zipf of Columbia University, who received third prize for “Kingdom of the Sick: The Ethics of Assisted Suicide.” Alex Skopic of Misericordia University, who wrote “This Means War: Antisemitism, Fascist Rhetoric, and the Duty of Opposition,” and L. Soleil Gaffner of Trinity University, who wrote “The Delicate Balance of Ethical Journalist: A Case Study,” were both recognized with honorable mentions. The winning essays can be found on the Foundation’s website:

“The 2019 winners embody Professor Elie Wiesel’s hope and vision for future generations when he and Marion established the Prize 30 years ago. We are proud to join with The Elie Wiesel Foundation to recognize these remarkable students, celebrate their work and support them as they continue on a lifelong journey of moral leadership,” said Seidman. 

About The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest
The Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics Essay Contest encourages students to write thought-provoking personal essays that raise questions, single out issues and offer rational arguments for ethical action. The contest is open to undergraduate full-time Juniors and Seniors who are registered at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States. All submissions to the essay contest are judged anonymously. Winning essays present intensely personal stories, originality, imagination, and clear articulation and convey genuine grappling with an ethical dilemma. For suggested essay topics and more information, visit

About The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
Elie Wiesel and his wife, Marion, established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity soon after he was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace. The Foundation’s mission, rooted in the memory of the Holocaust, is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality. For more information:, “like” us on Facebook, or follow @eliewieselfdn on Twitter.

About LRN
LRN’s mission is to inspire principled performance. Since 1994, LRN has helped over 25 million people at more than 700 companies worldwide simultaneously navigate complex legal and regulatory environments and make ethical decisions, and has also helped hundreds of companies foster ethical, responsible, and inclusive cultures. LRN’s combination of practical tools, education, and strategic advice helps companies translate their values into concrete corporate practices and leadership behaviors that create sustainable competitive advantage. In partnership with LRN, companies need not choose between living principles and maximizing profits, or between enhancing reputation and growing revenue: all are a product of principled performance. As a global company, LRN works with organizations in more than 100 countries.

Michael-Jon Romano
Sommerfield Communications
(212) 255-8386