Announcing the Dave Dellinger Essay Contest

The winner of the essay contest will receive a $100 prize and will have an excerpt of his/her essay printed in the program of the Dellinger lecture.

The essay must ground itself in the life and writings of Dellinger (1915-2004), who has been called "one of the moral giants of our time, one of the framers of modern pacifist resistance theory." In the context of the violence that plagues our contemporary world, essayists should show awareness of nonviolent theory and point to concrete and compelling examples of contemporary nonviolent resistance efforts.

David Dellinger was educated at Yale University, Oxford University and the Union Theological Seminary. While a student at Yale, he left the university so that he could live among the hobos and poor of the Depression era. He was a conscientious objector – for which he served time in prison – and anti-war agitator during WWII. While in prison, Dellinger became involved with the War Resisters League, an association that lasted through his lifetime.

In the 1950s and ’60s, he participated in the freedom marches of the American South and led hunger strikes while in jail for his resistance efforts against racism. In 1956, along with pacifist leader A.J. Muste, he founded Liberation Magazine, and then contributed numerous articles to that journal. His anti-Vietnam War efforts saw him creatively apply Gandhi’s principles of nonviolent resistance. At the age of 60, he was a codefendant in the now infamous Chicago Eight Trial.

In his later years, Dellinger’s efforts found him resisting nuclear weapons, the war in Iraq and the creation of free-trade zones. He is the author From Yale to Jail: The Life Story of a Moral Dissenter, and Revolutionary Nonviolence: Essays by David Dellinger and "Why I Refused to Register in the October 1940 Draft and a Little of What Led to It."

For more information about the life of David Dellinger and his writings, please see

All essays are to be typed and double-spaced and sent to Dr. Anna J. Brown, Department of Political Science, Saint Peter’s College, Jersey City, NJ, 07306 or emailed to by Friday, 6 October 2006.

Questions about the essay contest may be directed to Dr. Brown at or (201) 915-4963.

The War Resisters League (, the nation’s oldest pacifist organization, affirms that war is a crime against humanity. We therefore are determined not to support any kind of war, international or civil, and to strive nonviolently for the removal of all causes of war.