Hundreds of Memphis students took part Friday part in a national essay campaign designed to end the cycle of violence in homes, schools, and communities.
The essay contest, called "do the write thing," challenges middle school students to write essay's about their own experiences with violence and then come up with non-violent solutions.
City councilman Harold Collins said the goal to achieve non-violence is to use words to fight crime.
"We can gradually reduce our violent juvenile crime rate," he said. "We can increase attendance in school. We can have a population of people who understand that violence is not the way to carry out and solve problems. That it becomes a discussion of how we deal with the issues we face every day."
Submissions were judged by criminology students at the University of Memphis.
Two students from each participating school - a female and male student - were invited to an essay banquet in March.