Yang will be flown to New York in October for recognition by the Foundation and to meet Wiesel personally.
The contest invites American college juniors and seniors to submit an essay reflecting on major ethical issues, especially those that have impacted the students personally.
A daughter of Chinese immigrants, Yang wrote her essay, “The Silent Color Red: A Historical and Biographical Approach to the Forced Abortions of Communist China,” based on her family’s experience in their native country.
“The subject matter really gripped my heart,” said Yang. “[That is why] I boldly and unapologetically claim China’s Forced Abortion Laws as one of the greatest ethical calamities of the modern era.”
The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity was founded in 1968 by the Noble Peace Prize-winning Wiesel and his wife, Marion.
The organization, which was created to “combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs,” hosts a number of international conferences each year, funds education for thousands of refugee children in Israel, and promotes justice and human rights in the memory of all Holocaust victims.
According to the foundation’s website, Wiesel describes the Prize in Ethics contest to be one of the foundation’s most exciting projects revealing students who are "sensitive to the sufferings and defects that confront a society yearning for guidance and eager to hear ethical voices.”
Yang graduated summa cum laude from Lee University on May 4 with a bachelor of arts in biblical and theological studies. She plans to go on a missions trip to Peru this summer with her fathe r before pursuing a graduate degree at Duke University in the fall. She will be a full-time masters of divinity student at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C.