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Announcing the winners of the “Why Vote?” Video Challenge

The Hart Leadership Program is excited to announce the results of the second “Why Vote?” Video Challenge. As part of our effort to uplift student voices during important 2020 election season, the Hart Leadership Program was delighted to host the Why Vote? Video Challenge. A total of eighty-eight Duke students participated in the spring and fall contests, submitting seventy-one 30-second videos aimed at convincing non-voters to vote. The non-partisan messages spoke to students’ aspirations for and discontent with democracy as we know it in the United States. On November 2nd, the Hart Leadership Program held an event to showcase students’ remarkably creative work, “Celebrating Students’ Vision for a New Democracy: The “Why Vote?” Challenge,” where student finalists in six categories were honored, along with six winners. A YouTube playlist with all the video submissions can be found here. Here are the winners in each category:

– Fall 2020 Best Overall Video: “If Kids Could Vote” by Essperanza Hernandez (T’21)

– Best Animated Video: “Voting is an Essential tool to Make a Difference” by Shania Khoo (T’22)

– Best Humor Video: “Voting is Sexy” by Horacio Rios (T’22) and Georgia Price (T’22)

– Best Global Citizenship Video: “If I Could Vote” by Maria Zurita Ontiveros (T’21)

– Best Voting Rights in a Pandemic: “Resist, Inspire, Uplift, & Empower…Vote” by Susana Gutierrez (T’21)

– People’s Choice Award: “Unmute Yourself” by Gracie Joo (T’22)

During the 2020 spring semester, we worked with a team of judges—local filmmaker Kenny Dalsheimer, producer Antonia Fairchild, You Can Vote public relations lead Maddie Marshall, and students Lauren Howell and Bryant Lewis—to evaluate the 14 submissions. Our criteria included creativity, technique, persuasiveness, shareability and overall impression.

Upon evaluation, our thoughtful judges agreed that our first place winner was Niall Schroder for his video “Those Before Us.”



Second place went to James Toscano, Jr.

Third place goes to Matt Wisner.

Honorable mentions go to Parker Martin and the duo of Becca DiLuzio and Matt Silverstein.

Winners received a small cash prize. All videos will be used to promote student voting in advance of the November elections.

A YouTube playlist of all the submissions is available at this link.

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