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Courageous Rhode Island

This May, the Media Education Lab’s Courageous RI is awarding $7,000 in prizes to students in middle school, high school, and college, including a $1,000 grand prize! Middle school, high school, and college students from across Rhode Island, the nation, and the world are welcome to participate. The Youth Media Contest accepts creative work in print, graphic design, video, or audio formats. 

We’re looking for creative work that addresses this question: How can media literacy, active listening, kindness and compassion, and community engagement reduce the hate and fear that leads to violence????

Empower Your Students with 

Courageous Conversations


Are you ready to ignite the creative spark in your students and empower them to be courageous citizens? The CRI Youth Media Contest is here to help you do just that!


What is the CRI Youth Media Contest?

CRI’s Youth Media Contest recognizes and rewards student creativity. We award a total of 16 prizes, with a generous $1,000 grand prize. It's an opportunity for your students to showcase their talents and be recognized for their outstanding work.


Who Can Participate?

We invite middle school, high school, and college students from across Rhode Island and all around the U.S. and the world to participate. Whether your students are working on an in-class assignment, participating in an after-school program, or pursuing independent projects, CRI Youth Media Contest is open to all.

*NEW* A Gift for Courageous Mentors 

The first 25 educators who mentor 5 or more students who submit creative work to the contest will receive a $100 gift certificate.

Creative Expression Projects

Explore more than a dozen Creative Expression projects to jumpstart student imagination. Each of the 10 Courageous Conversations topics have videos, discussion questions, PPTS, and curated resources are available in the Courageous Conversations Curriculum. You can also use or adapt this model assignment for HS or college students. It's a group project: Creating Media to Counter Hate

Themes That Inspire

Prizes will be awarded to student media projects that address this question: How does media literacy, active listening, kindness and compassion and community engagement help to reduce the fear and hate that leads to violence? 

By exploring the Portal, students can listen to Courageous Conversations to brainstorm ideas for their media projects. The contest gives students the opportunity to express themselves creatively and contribute to the ongoing conversation about how to reduce polarization, improve the safety of our communities, and prevent violent extremism.


Submission Formats

Students have the freedom to choose from a variety of media formats, including:


  • Videos (information, entertainment, or persuasion)

  • Images (photographs, memes, digital posters, and more)

  • Audio media (original music, spoken word, podcasts)

  • Writing (news stories, op-eds, poetry, short stories)


Mark Your Calendar

Submissions must be received by May 15, 2024. Make sure your students have plenty of time to craft their masterpieces!


Awards & Prizes

CRIMC is judged by a panel of 12 community leaders, educators, and media professionals from Rhode Island. They'll be awarding a total of $7,000 in prizes, with the top honor being a $1,000 cash prize. Plus, students (and their teachers) will be recognized at a culminating in-person ceremony in spring 2024. There's also an audience award determined by online votes.

Rules & Terms

We've made it simple to participate. Submissions should include:

  • Student creators' names and institutional affiliations

  • Teacher or program leader's name and affiliation (if applicable)

  • Email addresses

  • A 300 word artist statement explaining how the work aligns with CRIMC themes and the creative intentions behind it.

  • A list of any copyrighted material used

  • If generative AI is used, explain the specific process used in the artist statement

  • Permission forms for submissions featuring children under 18 (if applicable)

Submission Guidelines

  • Video and audio submissions must be under 4 minutes.

  • Written submissions should not exceed 1,000 words.


Generative AI, Copyright, and Permissions

We encourage creativity while respecting copyright. Students can use copyrighted materials if they transform them to create new meaning. Encourage students to learn more about transformative use and why its an exemption protected under copyright law.  Students can also use generative AI tools to create their projects. Just ensure that students provide an explanation of how AI tools were used in the artist statement and have them submit a list of copyrighted materials in the application.

If projects include photos/video of children under the age of 18, students are required to provide parental permission forms for each child. 


Ready to empower your students to tell their stories and make a difference through media? Be a part of the CRI Youth Media Contest, where courage meets creativity!


Get Inspired!

Check out the discussion topics and listen in to

Courageous Conversations  

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