Activism and Advocacy Scholarship Application

To commemorate the 15th annual Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop, the Media Law Center for Ethics and Access at Kent State University will offer a scholarship to recognize outstanding student storytelling about social movements, activism or advocacy. The award will be accompanied by one-time scholarship in the amount of $2,500.

Who is elegible?

  • This one-time scholarship award will be offered for work done by currently enrolled undergraduate students at Kent State. Students must be returning for study in Fall 2020.
  • Undergraduate students across all campuses, representing all majors are eligible for the scholarship award. Graduate student work is not eligible.
  • The undergraduate student competition is for outstanding storytelling about social movements, activism or advocacy. Such work can take many forms, including news or feature writing for print, digital, or broadcast media; video or audio productions; websites, podcasts or digital apps; animation; photo journalism or photo essays; books (including book chapters); artistic expression and visual design (including exhibits, graphic novels, fashion design); public awareness or public education campaigns; advertising campaigns; poetry, theatrical works, music compositions, speeches and TEDx talks; narrative and expository essays.
  • Research papers and book reports are not eligible for this competition.
  • Both awards (the undergraduate scholarship and the high school award) will be presented at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, in April 2020.

Scholarship Application

About This Award:

This award recognizes that students are powerful storytellers. Through stories, many aspects of the human condition can be chronicled; societal issues and injustices can be brought to light; and social, political and cultural causes can be advanced. Storytelling can focus on problems, issues, grassroots movements, organized movements or individual acts of activism.

Entries will be judged on the strength of the “story” (in whatever form) and clarity; i.e. the story is easily understood. First-person accounts (in any form) are welcome.

Submissions can focus on a wide array of social issues, including but not limited to:

  • Civil rights (for example, racial, gender, age, ethnic, religious or sexual discrimination)
  • Immigration and citizenship
  • Poverty
  • Housing (for example, affordable housing, homelessness)
  • Labor (for example, unemployment, hiring or workplace discrimination, worker safety)
  • Education (including access, affordability, or student debt)
  • Healthcare (for example, discrimination or affordable care)
  • Physical health and physical abilities
  • Mental health and addiction
  • Free speech (and other First Amendment-related issues)
  • Gun rights (and other Second Amendment-related issues)
  • Voting rights
  • Policing and law enforcement
  • Environmental causes (for example, access to clean water, lead poisoning, climate refugees)
  • Human trafficking

Entry Criteria:

All submissions must have been created during a student's undergraduate career. 

Individual and team submissions will be considered. For this competition, team size will be limited to 5 students or fewer. Only one project per entrant or team will be considered.

How to Enter:

All applications require a submission via our online portal by no later than 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 6, 2020. Each submission must be accompanied by current contact information for the student. Team submissions must include a concise explanation of the role and contributions of each team member.

For more information, please contact:

Scholarship Application

Thank you to our scholarship donors: 

Media Law Center for Ethics and Access at Kent State, the Arnold and Dorothy Danes First Amendment Fund, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and individual donors.