How has violence impacted your life?
What are the causes of youth violence?
What can you do about youth violence?
The "Do the Write Thing" Challenge is an initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence
The “Do the Write Thing" (DtWT) Challenge is an initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence, which seeks to empower youth, through their writings, with the ability to reduce youth violence. The Challenge gives middle school students the opportunity to examine the impact of violence on their lives, communicate in written form what they think should be done to reduce youth violence, and make a personal commitment to do something about the problem. In addition, DtWT helps to spur creative classroom discussions about the impact of violence on our communities and possible paths to resolution.
In 1996, Philadelphia was one of the ten original cities that expanded DtWT from a pilot project in Washington, D.C. to a National Program. Philadelphia continued its participation as a change agent until 2014. In 2019, Philadelphia rebooted the Challenge under the leadership of the Honorable Lori A. Dumas, in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, the District Attorney's Office of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Police Department, Peace + Love, and Philadelphia City Council.
DtWT asks 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students to submit a rap, poem, song, or essay for judging by an esteemed group of community activists, city officials and celebrity judges. Annually, a local celebration is held to honor the top student writers from each school. During this celebration, one female and one male student are selected as Philadelphia Ambassadors to be honored during "National Recognition Week" in Washington, D.C. and have their writings inducted into the United States Library of Congress. In previous recognition weeks, National Ambassadors have met with national leaders, including U.S. Senators and a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, to discuss youth violence prevention.
"Do the Write Thing" envisions a world without youth violence. DtWT asks students to think about the possibilities of a life without the horrors of violence. DtWT strives to allow Philadelphia students to feel their voices are heard and to empower students to become ambassadors of peace in their own communities.
Keep up with news and information about DtWT and other #ProgramsWeLove
On Monday, September 28, 2020, youth from all over Philadelphia joined us and USED THEIR VOICE! During our pep rally check-in, youth made social justice posters and received a t-shirt along with school supplies. We hope our next check-in is even more successful! #dtwt #stop #youth #violence #socialjustice #useyourvoice
Congratulations to our 2021 DtWT Finalists!
Our Philadelphia - A documentary short about grief and the aftermath of gun violence from the perspective of teenagers.
On August 28th, our 2019 National Ambassadors, Jadrian Muniz-Colon and Duyen Nguyen, participated in a round table discussion with First Assistant District Attorney for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Robert Listenbee, as well as his staff. During the meeting, our Ambassadors shared their powerful ideas on how to reduce youth violence in Philadelphia.
In July, our 2019 National Ambassadors, Jadrian Muniz-Colon and Duyen Nguyen, were honored during “National Recognition Week” in Washington, DC. Joined by 50 other students from participating DtWT jurisdictions across the country, our Ambassadors had the opportunity to meet U.S. Senator for PA, Bob Casey; meet U.S. Senator for PA, Pat Toomey's, staff; tour of the U.S. Supreme Court and hear remarks from Justice Clarence Thomas’ law clerk; have their writings inducted into the Library of Congress; and be celebrated during a Recognition Ceremony.
JOIN, HOST A BOOK DRIVE, OR DONATE TODAY - Tree House Books is a Giving Library and Literacy Center headquartered in North Philadelphia. Founded in 2005, Tree House provides free books to children and families, and Out of School Time (OST) programs that increases literacy skills, and promote a lifelong love of reading and writing. Tree House is open every weekday from 10am-6pm and every Saturday from 10am-3pm. Join the community of readers, and thinkers today!
MEDIA ALERT - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (March 21, 2019) - We are proud to welcome Peace+Love to the Do the Write Thing Philadelphia team! Peace+Love is a trailblazing organization that promotes peace, love, and non-violence in the City of Brotherly Love. This partnership unites two organizations with a mutual purpose to combat violence by empowering young people to use their collective voice. For more information, please refer our press release (left).
There are many ways to join DtWT Philly and support our mission. Contact us to find out more about volunteer opportunities, fundraising events, and ways that you can get our message to your friends and family. Click below to view the schools, readers, and supporters that participated in the 2019 Challenge.
2021 Instructions for Classroom Teachers
2021 Letter to Program Directors
2021 Teacher's Packet
Benefits of Do the Write Thing
In order to participate in the 2021 DtWT Challenge, please fill out the above form.
For any general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form: