The Zoryan Institute, along with the editors of Genocide Studies International, proudly announce the return of its annual Student Essay Contest!

The Zoryan Institute established its annual essay contest in 2023 to provide an opportunity for students to make their voices heard and contribute to the ongoing work of preventing genocide.  With the current state of global affairs, this year’s essay contest could not be more timely and relevant for today’s youth.

As such the Institute welcomes aspiring young leaders passionate about human rights to share their insights and ideas around the crucial issue of genocide prevention. On the back of last year’s high-quality submissions, this year’s contest is poised to be more impactful and full of fresh insights and ideas.

Soline Fisher was selected as the 2023 winner of the contest with her essay which explored the contemporary challenges faced by the global community in tackling genocide. Runner-Up in the contest was given to Zepure Merdinian for her essay which explored how her own experiences with genocide and genocide education will help her to lead her generation in preventing genocide. Soline and Zepure’s essays were published in issue 15.2 of Genocide Studies International and you can read their essays below.



The Institute encourages teachers and educators to work the essay contest into their curriculum and bring this important discussion into the classroom. To build a foundational basis for the essay contest, teachers and educators will find the Institute’s Educational Supplements of great benefit. These Educational Supplements help to bridge the knowledge gap between academics and the public, and are published as a reference tool to  provide students with a foundational understanding of genocide and atrocity crimes, and inspire them to act as engaged global citizens.

Essay Guidelines 

Choose ONE of the following prompts to answer:

1. How will you lead your generation in preventing genocide?

2. What obligation does the global community have to prevent genocide, and what form(s) should these prevention efforts take?

3. How should your nation respond to genocide that takes place in another nation?

Your essay should make an argument and use existing research to support your ideas. Start with the Genocide Studies International Education Supplement for Genocide Awareness Month, and use other resources as needed. You can use any citation style, but you must use it consistently.

Every essay will be read by a panel of experts who will determine one winner and two runners-up. All three will be published in a forthcoming issue of Genocide Studies International. In addition, the winning author will receive $250 USD.

Length: approximately 1,000 words

Due: Friday, June 28, 2024, 5:00 pm EST

Submission Process: Essays must be submitted through this Google Form: 

Eligibility: This contest is open to all students currently enrolled in high school.

Please contact Dr. Jennifer Rich (, Co-Editor of Genocide Studies International with any questions.