Youth Voices Contest 2021

You(th) Matter invites you to express your views on the relationship between policing and democracy, in a national competition to win cash prizes. We want to hear from you! The Youth Voices contest will showcase youth writing, film, and artwork from communities nationwide.


What do you want police to understand to help them uphold the democratic principle of “by the people, for the people”?

There are many ways to tackle this question, so there is no one right answer. Here are some ideas below to inspire you.
You can choose one or focus on the general topic from your unique point of view

  • What should police officers know about your community so they can better serve it?
  • How do you think policing might help realize the promise of a democracy of the people and for the people?
  • What role can policing play in promoting justice and equality?
  • How might local police work with community members and community organizations to help better realize the promise of our democracy?

Choose a Category for Your Entry

Your entry may be an essay, poem, or story between 500-2000 words in length. All writing must be submitted as a pdf or Word document.

Entries in this category will be submitted as a photograph or scan of your original artwork. Your original artwork can be a drawing, painting, cartoon (single panel or panel cartoon strip), a photograph or collage of photographs.

A video entry can be a documentary, skit, animation, song, rap, or spoken word piece. Video run time should be limited to 5 minutes or less.


Prizes will be awarded to a Winner, Runner Up and Second Runner Up in each category.

  • Each Winner will receive $1,000.
  • Each Runner up will receive $500.
  • Each Second Runner Up will receive $250.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • Contestants must be between 14-18 years old.
  • Each contestant may only submit one entry.
  • All submissions must include your name, age, and location. This information will be kept confidential and will be used only for contest purposes.
  • All artwork and video must include a written description (100-200 words) about the artist’s intent and the inspiration behind it.
  • Contest begins July 15, 2021 and ends Jan. 4, 2022.
  • Entries must be submitted or postmarked by midnight EST, Jan. 4, 2022.
  • Participants must agree to grant copyright permission to You(th) Matter Strategies for Youth. All entries will become property of You(th) Matter and Strategies for Youth for exclusive use and reproduction.

How To Submit Your Entry

Upload your submission here:

Mail your submission to:

Strategies for Youth & You(th) Matter
Youth Voices Contest
P.O. Box 390174
Cambridge, MA 02139

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