How Would You Reduce Racial Inequality & Injustice in the Criminal Justice System?

Vasanth Rajkumar / CC BY-SA (

Enter the Youth Video, Audio, & Essay Contest Sponsored by Star Tribune & MNUDL With Your Solution


The killing of George Floyd and the unrest that followed have created a long-delayed but urgently needed discussion on police brutality, inequities in the criminal justice system and racial injustice more broadly.

The Minnesota Urban Debate League (MNUDL) and Star Tribune Opinion believe in the power of young minds and voices, and if you are between the ages of 10 and 18, we want your best ideas about how our communities can continue the hard work of responding to these problems.

We Want to Hear Your Voice:

The task is to create an original written essay, video or audio file which describes one or two specific changes our community, state or nation should make to reduce racial inequities and injustices in the criminal justice system.

Top submissions as determined by a group of judges from the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota will be published in the Star Tribune and on and shared with leaders across our state and nation.

Your words could pass new laws, transform society, spark revolutions, change minds and hearts, or help heal our communities.

The Rules:

The submission should be entirely your words and made by you, although others may teach you new skills, such as operating a camera, microphone or computer software. Submissions must come from young people between the ages of 10 and 18, using their age as of Dec. 31, 2020. You may also submit a group project with up to six friends (seven people total).

Written essays must be no more than 700 words, typed, double-spaced and in 12-point font. Video and audio submissions should be no longer than two minutes and must be submitted in a file format that can be uploaded to YouTube. If you use any materials from other people (research, writing, video or audio clips, etc.) you must give credit to those people either in your submission or in an additional text document not more than 50 words long.

How to Enter:

Questions can be sent to To enter, fill out the form below and submit your essay, video or audio file by Aug. 16.

Please be passionate, be creative and feel free to use your own personal experiences as evidence for your arguments.

There is no right or wrong answer. You have the chance to make change, and we look forward to hearing your voice.

Learn More & Apply to the Contest