The Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota Law School held an award ceremony on Feb. 4, 2011, to recognize the four high school teams that won its 2010 Youth Against Race, Class, and Place Disparities video contest.
The contest, sponsored by the Best Buy Foundation, sought to educate the public and encourage dialogue and action to eliminate race, class, and place disparities in Minnesota. Students in grades 8-12 living in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area were eligible to submit films of less than 2 minutes focusing on an issue related to these disparities and clearly outlining the problem and possible solutions.
The entry "Perception," produced by youth of the Lao Assistance Center won in two categories, Most Innovative Youth Action and Best Quality Production, and was awarded a digital video camera and a cash prize of $100.
The "Human Rights Music Video," produced by two students from Park Center, Senior High School, won the Most Original and Creative Presentation award. "Ster-e-o-type" and "7th Generation" by different teams in the South High All Nations Program both won the Most Compelling and Clear Message award. All three teams received digital video cameras.
The awards were presented by Twin Cities Public Television Senior Producer Daniel Bergin, who produced the "Close the Gap" documentary series that was the inspiration for the contest. After the ceremony, Bergin shared insights about his work and offered advice to students interested in pursuing careers and hobbies in filmmaking and media.
Congressional Representative Keith Ellison ('90) of the Fifth District of Minnesota also was present and congratulated the students on their hard work in addressing and educating others on disparities in the state. While at the Law School, Ellison volunteered in a similar Human Rights Center program that dealt with local schools.
The winning videos can be seen online at http://www.youtube.com/user/HRCMN.