Impassioned Public Speaking

This spring’s second annual William Sloane Coffin Prize for Passionate Public Speaking showcased student talent while sharing sometimes very personal perspectives on issues of faith, hunger, discrimination, and more.

Competing in two categories–spirituality and faith, activism and justice–students first submitted written pieces for consideration and then were selected as finalists to deliver their speeches before a live audience at the First Congregational Church.

The competition is a collaborative effort of Williams and the church, and was created in honor of the Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., a pastor in the United Church of Christ who began his career in ministry as the college’s chaplain in 1956.

A selection of this year’s finalist speeches is included here, among them:

Hamza Farrukh ’15: “A War Against Hunger”

Tirhakah Love ’15: “Who’s the Man?”

Jimi Morales ’12: “A Culture of Complicity”

Andy Morgosh ’12: “Lessons from a German Pastor”

Lysa Vola ’13: “Medical Oppression of the Transgender Community”