Environmental Justice Video Challenge for Students
On this page:
- Challenge Description
- Phase 1 Challenge Winners
- Terms and Conditions
- Helpful Resources
Many communities face greater environmental exposures and public health risks due to a history of inequitable environmental policies and access to the decision-making process. Environmental justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
EPA and partners have launched the Environmental Justice (EJ) Video Challenge for Students to enhance communities’ capacity to address environmental and public health inequities. The goals of the challenge are to:
- Inspire students at accredited colleges and universities in the United States and its territories to work directly with communities in the identification and characterization of EJ challenges using data and publicly available tools, and
- Help communities (including residents and other stakeholders) address EJ challenges and/or vulnerabilities to environmental and public health hazards using data and publicly available tools.
This EJ Video Challenge for Students is structured in two separate phases, each with their own timelines. A brief description of each phase is noted below.
Phase 1 - Complete
The goal of Phase 1 is for students to create a video to demonstrate innovative approaches to identify and characterize an EJ issue(s) in a select community using data and publicly available tools. Students will submit a video that meets requirements outlined in the Video Submission Requirements - Phase 1 section below.
Students are strongly encouraged to work in teams and identify and collaborate with community organizations that may bring important understanding and perspective to the EJ challenge(s) the community is facing.
Check out EJ Video Challenge: Tools and Data Resources for ideas to get started. Students are welcome to use other data and publicly available tools that are not already listed.
Phase 2 of the challenge will be open to eligible applicants (with at least one student participating from Phase 1 per team) and is expected to launch in September 2022. Phase 2 will focus on enhancing communities’ capacity to address the EJ issue identified in Phase 1. Students will work collaboratively with community-based organizations to develop a strategy that demonstrates effective community engagement and advocacy and/or a proposal to address the EJ issue.
Challenge Co-Sponsor Organizations
The below organizations are co-sponsoring this challenge.
- American Public Health Association (APHA)
- Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities – Network (EPIC-N)
- Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
- Environmental Justice (peer-reviewed journal)
- Groundwork USA
Disclaimer: The views expressed in these video submissions are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views or the policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA has not evaluated the content of the videos for scientific accuracy and therefore, does not unequivocally endorse any scientific conclusions of the winning videos.
Team members: Tim Schütz, David Banuelas, Annika Hjelmstad, Ariane Jong, Ashley Green, Javier Garibay, Alexis Guerra, and Irene Martinez
University of California, Irvine
Team members: Claire Morton, Mia Lazar, and Eleanor Stalcup
Stanford University & University of Richmond
Team members: Drew Slaney and Allison Hayes
Western Washington University
Team members: Corey Wills, Itay Porat, Celine Apollon, Aminah McNulty, Guava Rhee, and Toluwalase Akinwunmi
University of Pennsylvania
Team members: Monica Woodruff and Allison Scibelli
University of West Florida
Team members: Alaina Bryant, Kaleigh Karageorge, Seohyung Kim, Gabriella Hays, Kayla Young, and Jung Hyun Lee
Team members: Megan Salters and McKenna Dunbar
University of Richmond
Team members: Lauren Riviere and Mary Snyder
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Team member: Yazan Hasan
University of Maryland, College Park
Team members: Courtney DeLoatch-Hill, Elenna Mach, and Jillian Wimbush
University of Maryland, College Park
The eligibility criteria for this EJ Video Challenge are noted below.
- Open to undergraduate and graduate students (18 years and older as well as international students under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 102(2)(F)) enrolled in accredited institutions of higher education (including community colleges) across the United States and its territories.
- At least one (1) faculty advisor is required to serve as a mentor to student(s) participating in the Challenge.
- Students are strongly encouraged to work in teams.
- Students who submitted eligible videos in Phase 1 are invited to participate in Phase 2 of the challenge and will be emailed information about Phase 2 as it becomes available. Note: Students do not need to have a winning entry in Phase 1 to participate in Phase 2.
- To help with continuity between the two phases of the challenge, there must be at least one (1) student from Phase 1 who also participates in Phase 2 of the Challenge.
NOTE: EPA recognizes that it is important to engage all available minds to address the environmental challenges the Nation faces. At the same time, EPA seeks to expand the environmental conversation by including members of communities which may have not previously participated in such dialogues to participate in EPA programs. For this reason, EPA strongly encourages all eligible applicants identified above, including undergraduate/graduate students from minority serving institutions (MSIs), to apply under this opportunity.
Prize Distribution for Phase 1 Winners*
- (1) First Place Prize of $20,000
- (1) Second Place Prize of $12,000
- (1) Third Place Prize of $6,000
- Up to (7) Honorable Mention Prizes of $1,000 each
Additional Benefits for Phase 1 Winners
Winning student(s) will also receive the following benefits:
- The winning videos will be posted on EPA’s EJ Video Challenge for Students webpage.
- Additionally, winning videos will be shared on EPA social media channels and communications.
- If a tool developed by EPA's Office of Research and Development was used, winners and their community organization partner(s) will have the opportunity to speak with a team member for that tool for Phase 2.
- Challenge winners will have an opportunity to submit an article for publication (subject to the journal’s formal review/acceptance process) in Environmental Justice.
- Winning videos for Phase 1 will be posted on an EPA webpage and announced in Summer 2022.
- Video entries may be used by EPA (e.g., on EPA social media accounts and webpages) in connection with this video challenge and the production, distribution, promotion, broadcast at public meetings/conferences, and online posting thereof.
- All video entries must be accompanied with signed License Agreement and Consent Forms. Note that each individual appearing on the video must sign a consent form.
- Use of music within each video entry must follow EPA Music Licensing Guidance.
- Student(s) are responsible for complying with applicable copyright and intellectual property laws for any materials used in their video entries. “Fair use” rules may allow the use of copyrighted material in certain circumstances (e.g., see the fair use guidelines on YouTube). Participants should seek legal guidance if they have questions about using copyrighted materials.
EPA and EPA officials do not endorse any product, service, or enterprise that may appear in submitted videos. Furthermore, by recognizing winning videos, EPA is not endorsing any products, services, or enterprises that may appear in those videos.
Submissions will be judged by a panel of EPA and non-EPA judges with expertise in environmental justice and capacity building. The judges will evaluate, score, and rank submissions based on the criteria listed below.
Phase 1 Judging Criteria
The judging panel will use a 100-point scale to evaluate the videos. The scale will rank the
extent in which the video meets the following criteria:
- Clarity (15 points) – Video has a clear message and the theme and is easily understood.
- Storytelling (15 points) – Video is educational, engaging, or deepens the understanding of how the student(s) developed their innovative approach and worked with the community or community organization(s) to do so.
- Creativity/Innovation (20 points) – Video shows an innovative approach to identify/characterize an EJ issue(s) in a select community using data and a publicly available tool(s).
- Level of Community Engagement (25 points) – Student(s) engaged with community and/or community organizations in their effort in a meaningful and community capacity building manner.
- Use of Data & Publicly Available Tools (25 points) – Information about the data and tool(s) are provided and the use of the proposed data/tool(s) demonstrates a feasible method to identify/characterize an EJ issue(s) in your community (e.g., are you using the most highly applicable data and tool(s) to identify/characterize the EJ issue(s) in your community).
NOTE: Judging criteria for Phase 2 will be communicated during the roll out of Phase 2.
Example Tools and Data Resources
- EPA Capacity Development Resources for States and Small Systems
- EPA Capacity-Building Resources for the Watershed Approach
- OECD/Noya A. Clarence E., Community capacity building: fostering economic and social resilience. Project outline and proposed methodology, 26-27 November 2009, working document, CFE/LEED, OECD
Any questions? Please contact us at EJVideoChallenge@epa.gov.