The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) is hosting a “Stand Up Against Hate” contest for young people throughout the state.

According to the description rules, the contest is meant to encourage students ages 25 and younger to “create and submit slogans, artwork and videos that will raise awareness around the need to counter the recent rise in bias incidents and inspire young people across the state to stand up to hate in their communities.”

The contest, which began November 30, 2020 and runs until February 15, 2021, came about when New Jersey’s Interagency Task Force to Combat Youth Bias (YBTF) released a report recommending that the state launch “a public campaign to take a strong stance that hate has no place in New Jersey” by allowing students to create various forms of art “about standing up to hate and prejudice in New Jersey.”

Winners of the contest will be designated #NJCivilRights Ambassadors and will receive certificates from the Office of the Attorney General. They will be featured as part of a multimedia campaign by the Division on Civil Rights, as determined by the Division in its discretion, and will have the opportunity to work with DCR in a peer mentoring capacity for other students. In addition, the winners will also have the opportunity to participate in a roundtable event where they can share their experiences with hate and bias and share their ideas on how the government could do a better job communicating with young people.

To participate in the contest, as mentioned before, students can submit either a slogan or hashtag, an artwork design and/or a 10-60 second video. For slogan or hashtag submissions, the original phrase must be six words or less and must spread an encouraging statement to peers about standing up to hate. Only one slogan will be selected as a winner in this category.

For artwork and design submissions, participants may submit an original drawing, painting or a piece of digital artwork that highlights the stand up to hate theme of the competition. In this category, “one piece of artwork will be selected in each of four age groups: Elementary (Grades pre-k through 5); Middle (Grades 6-8); High School (Grades 9-12); and Young Adults (18-25 years old not currently enrolled in high school),” as stated in the contest rules.

Video submissions can be done individually or in groups and must remain between 10 and 60 seconds long. These submissions must also follow the stand up to hate theme and be submitted in a format suited for sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The DCR offers some suggestions for video content such as narratives, poetry, spoken word, songs, dances or acting. However, video submissions are not limited to these options. Video submissions will have chosen winners in categories similar to those in the artwork and design category.

All contest submissions should be submitted online at https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/ybtf-studentcompetition/index.html or mailed or delivered on a thumb drive to 140 E. Front St., 6 th Fl., P.O. Box 090, Trenton, NJ 08625, Attn: Community Relations.

Winners will be announced in April 2021. To learn more about the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights “Stand Up Against Hate” contest and how you can get involved, click HERE.