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Advancement Project’s
2009 SCHOOLHOUSE TO JAILHOUSE YOUTH ARTS COMPETITION

Calling all youth social justice advocates, organizers, activists, filmmakers, poets, and stars!

Have the schools in your community been pushing students out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems through unfair or discriminatory use of suspensions, expulsions, and arrests? If so, here is your opportunity to speak out.

All across the country, schools are using the police and courts for discipline, pushing students, especially student of color, off of an academic track and onto a track to prison. This is called the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track, and if it affects you or your community, we want to hear about it.

Share your experience or the experiences of others with the rest of the country. Show how the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse track is operating in your city, your school district, your school, or your classroom. What do you witness? What frustrates you? What does your community think?

Entries will be evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges, including a sampling of social justice advocates and arts industry experts.

DETAILS & RULES

  • Entries will be judged in two categories: film and spoken word/poetry. Spoken word can be video or audio taped and poetry can be typed or handwritten.
  • If submitting a film or video/audio tape of spoken word, it should not exceed 20 minutes. Poetry entries should not exceed 1000 words. There is no minimum length requirement.
  • Films can be submitted on VHS or DVD.
  • Participants submitting entries cannot be over age 18.
  • If multiple people work together to submit an entry, they may have to share prizes, depending on availability.
  • Entries may not be returned – please make a copy of any entries.
  • Participants agree to permit Advancement Project to use your work for the purposes of advocating for an end to the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track. Participants will be credited.
  • Entries must be received by September 15, 2009 for consideration.
  • Winners will be notified in late September or early October 2009.

Film

You can use film to show how the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse track is operating in your city, your school district, your school, or your classroom. There is no specific way to document this crisis –feel free to get creative! You might want to interview students, family members, school staff, teachers, and other people who have something to say about the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track. Or, you might want to create a silent film and just catch something in action! The guidelines are flexible, but the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track is not – it’s just destructive.

Details:
Films can be submitted on VHS or DVD. The video or DVD can be no longer than 20 minutes.
Submit entries by email to [email protected] or by mail to Alexi Nunn, 1220 L Street, NW, Suite 850, Washington DC 20001.

Spoken Word

You can use spoken word to show how the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse track is operating in your city, your school district, your school, or your classroom. You might just want your words to speak for you, or you might want to use part of your performance to make the issue come to life even more. You could represent different stakeholders in your performance or talk in your own voice. The guidelines are flexible, but the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track is not – it’s just destructive.

Details:
Remember, spoken word can be video or audio taped. The video or audio tape can be no longer than 20 minutes.
Submit your entries by email to [email protected] or by mail to Alexi Nunn, 1220 L Street, NW, Suite 850, Washington DC 20001.

Poetry

You can use poetry to show how the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse track is operating in your city, your school district, your school, or your classroom. You might want to interview different stakeholders, like students, family members, school staff, teachers, or others to represent their opinion in your poem, or you might just want to discuss your experience. Feel free to rhyme if you prefer! The guidelines are flexible, but the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track is not – it’s just destructive.

Details:
Remember, poetry can be typed or handwritten, but handwriting must be legible. A poetry entry can be no longer than 1000 words.
Submit your entries by email to [email protected] by fax to Alexi Nunn at 202-728-9558, or by mail to Alexi Nunn, 1220 L Street, NW, Suite 850, Washington DC 20001.

JUDGES

Malia Lazu
Malia Lazu is currently the director of The Gathering Project in New York City. The Gathering is an answer to the generational and racial schisms that have many justice organizations working in their own silos. They create an intergenerational, interracial space to allow the justice community; in its broadest sense; to get to know one another and to find the common agenda that will allow them to support one another as they continue their work. Formerly, Malia was the Director of the Racial Justice Campaign Fund at Progressive Majority, where she focused on creating models to elect candidates of color and help progressives win. She was also the National Field Director for Cities for Progress. Malia was responsible for reaching out to and recruiting activists and locally elected officials in 30 cities through out the country to work on progressive policy campaigns in their respective cities. Malia was named “Activist of the Month” by MTV in June 2000, and is a board member of the Youth Council of the Partnership for Excellence in Government as a representative of MTV. She also was host of “The Fall of Tarzan” a political talk show on the web. Her work as been covered in print and electronic journalism, including Newsweek, the Boston Globe, and ABC-TV's Chronicle. In 2001, Malia was also listed in Boston Magazine as one of the most powerful minorities in Boston. Malia also currently sits on the boards of the League of Pissed Off Voters, The Hip Hop Political Convention, FairVote, and Change the Game. Malia is also co-author of “How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office.”

Jim Miller
Jim Miller is the Executive Director for Brave New Foundation. He joined the company when BNF was initially formed by putting together the coalition of over 100 groups (including Amnesty International, MoveOn, True Majority, and Voters For Peace) to push BNF’s unique system of distribution and house screenings for Iraq For Sale. Since then, Jim has strengthened the Foundation’s distribution coalition so that its short videos now get over 1.5 million views per month. His film experience began over 20 years ago working on the film Bull Durham and includes being the Director of Development for The Shooting Gallery, an independent film company which produced Sling Blade and You Can Count on Me; and Head of Acquisitions for Cinema Park Distribution. Immediately prior to BNF, Jim produced the star-studded 'Les Girls' charity benefits for the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

James Rucker
James Rucker is co-founder of Color of Change, which uses the Internet to enable its members to speak in unison with an amplified political voice. Color of Change keeps members informed about the most pressing issues for Black people in America and gives them ways to act. It lobbies elected representatives using email, the telephone, and face-to-face meetings; and hosts coordinated events in different parts of the country, using communications tools to ensure that the needs of Black people are covered in the media. Rucker previously served as Director of Grassroots Mobilization for MoveOn.org Political Action and Moveon.org Civic Action from the fall of 2003 through the summer of 2005, and was instrumental in developing and executing on fundraising, technology, and campaign strategies.  Prior to joining MoveOn, James worked in various roles in the software industry in Silicon Valley: co-founded and leading Imana, Inc., an enterprise software company, in San Francisco, as well as providing management coaching and technology consulting for other start-up ventures.  Rucker is also passionate about school reform and issues of equity, and serves on the boards of two area schools.  James grew up in Seaside, California and has a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University.

Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr.
Rev. Yearwood, Jr. serves as President and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus, which uses Hip Hop culture, celebrities, cultural media, technology, and grassroots organizing to reach young people of color from low-income communities. Started in 2004, in just four years Hip Hop Caucus developed to have a 700,000 member national database and created field teams in 48 cities across 30 states. Before Hip Hop Caucus, in 2004, Yearwood was the co-creator of the Vote Or Die! campaign with P. Diddy, and the Political and Grassroots Director for Russell Simmons. He also served as Executive Director of Hip Hop Voices, a program of Voices for Working Families at AFL-CIO. Rev. Yearwood is a nationally recognized activist and community organizer, known in particular for organizing for justice in response to Hurricane Katrina and for his fierce opposition to the war in Iraq. His vision for social change mandates a 21st century approach to mobilizing and engaging young people to be a part of the political process. Rev is originally from Shreveport, LA.

PRIZES

Prizes will include: digital camcorder, netbook (mini laptop), and more!

APPLICATION

Click here to print out a copy of the application.

Printed applications can be scanned and emailed to sto[email protected] or faxed to 202-728-9558.

OR

Click here to submit the application online.

 

QUESTIONS?

Email [email protected] or call Alexi at 202-728-9557 with any questions.

Entries must be received by September 15, 2009 for consideration.

Submit your entries to:

Advancement Project
Attn: Alexi Nunn
1220 L Street, NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC 20005.

Written entries can be emailed to [email protected] or faxed to 202-728-9558.