Freedom’s Children Student Journalists Competition

The March on Washington Film Festival is excited to announce its first ever Freedom’s Children Student Journalists Competition. The March on Washington Film Festival, a production of The Raben Group, strives to increase awareness of the untold events and unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Era and inspire a renewed passion for activism. The festival uses the power of film, scholarship, and the performing arts to share these important stories.

Winners of this competition will have the opportunity to serve as student reporters for the myriad of events taking place throughout the 5th annual March on Washington Film Festival, which begins July 14 and runs through July 22 in Washington, D.C.

Three winners will be chosen and the winning students will:

  • Take home a cash prize for their participation;
  • Attend a Master Class on reporting;
  • Receive mentorship from a professional journalist; and
  • Have their work published in our partnering print and/or online publications, in addition to being featured on the festival website.

Some of the event topics that students will have the opportunity to cover are:

  • Civil Rights and Mass Incarceration
  • Women of the Movement, Civil Rights, and the Justice Fighters
  • Civil Rights and Sports
  • Civil Rights Activism on College Campuses
  • Civil Rights and Food: Crops, Culture, and Cuisine
  • And more

Application Requirements

To apply for the Freedom’s Children Student Journalists Competition, please submit the following materials to FCSJC@marchonwashingtonfilmfestival.org.

Please note that all contest winners will be responsible for procuring their own housing in the Washington D.C. area from July 10-22.

  • Biographical Information
    • Name:
    • Date:
    • Address:
    • Race:
    • Gender:
    • Social Media Handle(s):
    • College or University:
    • Current Year in School:
    • GPA:
    • Extracurricular Activities:
    • Skills/Certifications:
    • Languages:
    • Multimedia Storytelling Experience:
    • How did you hear about the Freedom’s Children Student Journalists Competition?
  • Resume
  • Three pieces of published journalistic writing. Single bylines only. Students’ work may have been published on a personal blog or website.
  • A response to both questions in the first two bullet points below, OR one article written within the confines of the last bullet point:
    • Is it possible to avoid media bias, both as a consumer and as a media practitioner? If so, how? (no more than 250 words)
    • What do you see as the role of journalists in the coming presidential administration? What is your assessment of the issues facing journalists in the current media and political environment? (no more than 250 words)
    • Cover a person, place, thing or event in your area that would not normally receive mainstream news coverage. It is up to you to determine a subject, but it must be within the realm of social justice or civil rights. The resulting article must be factual and it must include at least one authoritative source. There should be an attempt to include historical context on the subject, and there should be something that tells readers why it’s relevant to their lives or their community today. (no more than 500 words)

The biographical information, resume, work samples and responses should be sent as individual PDFs in a single email.

Application Deadline

All submissions will be due to FCSJC@marchonwashingtonfilmfestival.org by midnight on May 15.

Competition Timeline

May 30: Contest winners are notified.

June: Students receive further details and instructions about the program, including itineraries and other relevant correspondence.

July 7-14: Students will attend a Master Class on reporting, receive individual mentorship sessions, engage in preparatory activities for their articles, do preliminary interviews and news gathering, craft solid story pitches, write b-matter, sketch story outlines, visit the Newseum and attend a reception with the contest judges.

July 14-22: Students will work to produce their articles and do whatever real time news gathering is necessary. Completed stories will be sent to their assigned editors/publications immediately upon completion.

Week after July 22: Stories will be compiled on MoWFF website along with a brief statement from each winner about their experience. Students will also be required to share their work with the festival on their social media platforms.

Contest Rules and Guidelines

All students must be enrolled in a college or university. Each contest winner will be responsible for procuring their own housing in the Washington D.C. area from July 10-22. All submitted work must be original and must have only one author. No double bylines. Contest winners are required to promote their finished products on social media.