About Gulen Institute Youth Platform

Gulen Institute Youth Platform is an international essay contest annually organized by the Gulen Institute at the University of Houston and is open for high school students in grades 9th through 12th enrolled in public or private schools all over the world. The contest challenges young minds to identify the obstacles to stable peace and social harmony and to offer possible solutions from their own cultural perspectives. The Youth Platform also offers a unique opportunity for cross-cultural understanding, as contest winners are invited to share their essays and engage in respectful dialogue with their peers from around the world.

About Gulen Institute

Established in October 2007, the Gülen Institute is a non-profit research organization dedicated to the promotion of peace and civic welfare.  The Gülen Institute maintains an international focus that is unique in Houston, and our primary goal is to advance original academic work in the areas of Conflict Resolution, Poverty, and Education that articulates the challenges faced by global communities and theorizes possible solutions.  We acknowledge the fundamental role that governments play in advancing social harmony, but we believe that lasting solutions to the problems of today have to involve the civic sector.


To this end, the Gülen Institute offers research grants and scholarships, organizes lecture series at the University of Houston, and facilitates workshops and panel discussions that attract academics from around the world.  Our lecture series and panel discussions provide a platform for diverse analyses of the contemporary world.  We also offer cultural exchange trips to graduate students at the University of Houston in the belief that by bringing people of diverse ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds together, we can advance mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation.

Our Partners

The Gülen Institute is a joint initiative of the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston and the Dialogue Institute of Southwest.  This collaboration has allowed both organizations to deepen their commitments to peace and social justice.

The Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW), established by Texas State Legislature in 1967, is a nationally recognized graduate social work program.   The GCSW boasts twenty-four full-time faculty, including individuals whose have been considered for the Pulitzer prize and the 1997 Nobel Peace prize recipient, Ms. Jody Williams.  The College’s academic offerings include the MSW and PhD with dual degree opportunities in business (Masters of Business Administration), law (Juris Doctorate), and Public Health (Masters in Public Health).

The Dialogue Institute of Southwest grew out of the need to address the question, “How can citizens of the world live in peace and harmony?” The Institute was established by Turkish-Americans in 2002 as a 501-c-3 non-profit educational organization. The Institute aims to eliminate or reduce false stereotypes, prejudices and unjustified fears through direct human communication.  For more information, please visit The Dialogue Institute of Southwest.