Speaking contests and speaking prizes have been favorite traditions at Amherst since the very beginning of the College's history. The tradition continued on Feb. 18, 2020. Presented here are eight student speeches on the theme of "Justice."

Competition Rules:

This competition required writing and delivering a persuasive speech rather than a solely informative one. Other criteria: topics had to be relevant and interesting to an Amherst College audience, and presentations needed to be appropriate for the occasion and setting.  No scripts, no PowerPoints. The theme, “Justice," was intentionally broad: students decided what aspect of justice (or injustice) they wanted to speak about.

Caelen McQuilkin '23 “Big Lessons from a Small Town”

Caelen McQuilkin '23 speaks on how the divisiveness and intolerance of American politics has reeked injustice across the country.

Amherst College "Justice" Speech Competition - Tyler Marovitz ’20 - "The Injustice of Silence”

Tyler Marovitz '20 speaks on how "silence encourages the tormentor, never of tormented."

Elizabeth Sturley ’20 - “With Liberty and Restorative Justice For All”

Elizabeth Sturley '20 speaks on the concept of justice equalling punishment and how that has affected our criminal justice system.

“America's Undead”

Speech Competition

Cole Graber Mitchell ’22, discusses the lack of voting rights for felons, post-conviction, in “America's Undead.”

“Do We Deserve It?”

Speech Competition

Sophie Kubik ’23 examines the impact of uneven distribution of wealth in “Do We Deserve It?”

“The Big Circle of Justice”

Speech Competition

Muhammad Sabally ’23's speech, “The Big Circle of Justice,” describes a path towards restorative justice that can strengthen relationships and communities.

“Finding the ‘I’ in Justice”

Speech Competition

In “Finding the ‘I’ in Justice,” Lauren Lamb ’21, explores an often ignored aspect of justice, as in the need to be just with ourselves.

“Whose American Dream?”

Speech Competition

In this speech, Gregory Franklin ’20 explores the intersection of opportunity and effort, the American Dream vs. the American reality.