SEATTLE – Youth Voices Against Violence announces the winners of its national audio contest.
Grand Prize: “Another City Night” by Sule Cerdan, 20, Philadelphia
Awards of Excellence:
“Poetry Saved by Life” by Jaiana Brown, 15, Seattle
“Numbers” by Troy Osaki, 20, Seattle
Youth Voices Against Violence is an anti-violence campaign through YTech at the Metrocenter YMCA in partnership with PugetSoundOff.org and TabuTalk.org. These organizations bring youth together to engage with issues that affect them most and equip them with media skills to propel their voices and help make a difference.
The winning audio piece is a poem that explores what goes on inside the mind of an innocent victim moments before their death. “I wanted to address a powerful topic in the best possible way I could,” says Sule Cerdan, the winning artist from Philadelphia. “Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express myself.”
Youth across the country were asked to submit audio pieces on the topic during the month of November and December.
“We had a lot of participation locally as well as from Philadelphia,” says Colleen McDevitt, YTech Youth Media Educator and founder of Tabu. “Spoken word came out on top but students also interviewed peers, read monologues, created beats or even called in with a voicemail.” All entries can be heard at PugetSoundOff.org/YouthViolence
The contest was judged by a panel of young people, youth media educators and invested community members. Winners will receive local and national publicity in addition to grant awards to continue their advocacy work: $500 for first place and $250 per Award of Excellence.
Though the contest has ended, YTech staff and youth will continue their anti-violence campaign over the next year. “Our young people really broke the silence around the issue and we received so many compelling submissions,” says Niki Warncke, YTech Youth Media Educator. “Now, we just have to do something powerful with them.”
Keep an eye out for upcoming events that will showcase the contest winners and other local talent who will perform their songs, poetry and monologues related to youth violence. All organizations and individuals interested are welcome to participate!
YTech is a leader in the digital inclusion movement, providing access to technology and skills training to teach young people to be producers, not just consumers of media. youthdigitalmedia.com
Puget SoundOff is the online platform, supported by the City of Seattle, where young people learn to connect with peers, create networks and share their voices. PugetSoundOff.org Together, they work to create approachable curriculum and programs that engage young people in meaningful discussion, digital arts creation and community action.