Here at the Marcus Harris Foundation, we not only strive to raise awareness of various cultural, political, and social issues, we aim to provide effective solutions for those affected by them. To help us do so, we've created a video essay contest to address these issues with millions of viewers worldwide, through social media, blogs, and other online platforms.

The topic of this cycle's contest:

The need to end cash bail in America.

The winning video will not only address the problems with the cash bail system, but also propose how to amend the system within the scope of overall criminal justice reform.

The contest winner will receive a $250 prize.



Qualified applicants are between the ages of 15 and 25, preferably with a demonstrated history of community activism. Applicants under the age of 18 must provide written permission from at least one parent or guardian.


Videos must be no more than 3 minutes long. Your video may feature a variety of different styles, including but not limited to documentary, fiction, live action, or animation. Any profane or sexually explicit submissions will not be considered. 

To submit, please send the following to

- A copy of your video in either MP4 or MOV format

- Please make the subject line of your message: "Video Essay Contest - End Cash Bail"

- Your name, mailing address, and phone number

- A brief list of all volunteer or community activities in which you've participated

Each submission will be judged based on the following factors:

- Originality

- Creativity 

- Effectiveness in addressing the topic

The winning video will be posted on our website, YouTube channel, and promoted on our social media profiles.


All entries must be received by no later than midnight (EST) on Sunday, October 28, 2018. The winner will be announced in November 2018.