Hope and Justice


May is Mental Health Awareness Month and in preparation we are dedicating March and April to submissions exploring mental health, hope, resilience and change. Lime green is the color of mental health awareness and the lime green ribbon is the symbol of mental health.

As always, we welcome all art forms (visual art, film, narrative, music), but we are in particular interested in 15 and 30-second films (public service announcements) that can be shared on TV and social media and creative art featuring the lime green ribbon that can be turned into social media stickers and sharable icons. All submissions are due on April 30. 

This month we are offering one Submission Prompt: “Hope for Change” – asking you to share how you or your community have grown and changed. How have you become stronger and more resilient? You must creatively include the lime green ribbon as a symbol of mental health.

Submissions are due April 30, 2021

As spring approaches, you may notice the seasons changing by new flowers blooming or the arrival of butterflies. Change is an inevitable part of life, but this year in particular has brought many unexpected challenges. Reflect on the ways that you have adapted to change and grown as a person in March/April’s prompt, “Hope for Change.” To prepare for Mental Health Awareness Month in May, you must incorporate a green ribbon creatively into your entry. Create an art piece (in any form!) that explores personal growth, resilience, and the change you want to see in yourself or in your community.

Here are some ideas that may help you get started:

  • What do you think can be done so that there can be real change towards better mental health and reducing stigma within your community? Share your thoughts on actions that individuals, families, communities or organizations can or should take to make a difference.
  • Look back on who you were a year ago and the person you are today. How do these two versions of yourself compare?
  • As a result of adversity or difficult times you experienced over the past year, how have you changed?
  • Imagine giving advice to your past self about a challenging situation you went through. What would you say to yourself?
  • Share a positive change you have made in your life and how you worked toward that goal.
  • Explore the healthy ways that you have used to cope with change during the past year.

Check out these resources that can help you manage change and build resilience:

Here is a collection of green ribbons you can use, but we strongly encourage you to create your own- get creative! The more creative – the better score your entry will receive!

Category Rules: Submissions are accepted from youth ages 12-25. Submissions are due at midnight of the last day of the month and winners will be announced by the 15th of the following month and shared via social media and on the website. Participants are eligible to submit one entry per month.  Prizes include: First place ($300), Second Place ($150), Third Place ($100), and Honorable Mention ($25) in Amazon gift cards. Winners will be selected by the Hope and Justice advisory group and the Directing Change Team. In addition, all 60-second film entries received prior to March 1, 2021 will also compete against all 60-second films entered in the Hope and Justice category for a chance at a statewide prize.

A submission includes the following:

This category includes an additional incentive – a cash award between $100 to $500 that can be used to support a community action project you create. To qualify you’ll need to complete a short application form explaining your idea and submit an entry submission in the Hope and Justice category.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as funds are available and need to be started and completed between September 2020 and May 2021. Contact us if you’d like to get started.


Step 1.  Select a Submission Format

Express yourself! Any art form suitable for sharing via social media is acceptable: original music, dance, spoken word, art, poetry, a speech, ANYTHING! This is your chance to tell your story and be creative. Review the Entry Format Tips page to learn how to upload your film entry correctly.

  • Visual Art – submitted as a jpg or png file
    • Painting, digital art, sketching, comic, or any other art form
    • For tips on how to upload your artwork correctly visit the Tips and Resources section and please keep in mind the visual quality of your submission (e.g., a clear photo of your painting, with no glare), since we’ll be sharing winning submissions on social media
  • Original music (3 minutes or less) – submitted as mp3 file
    • Can also be submitted with a visual such as a music video, lyrics on screen, or recording of live performance
  • Short video, animation, or TikTok (15-seconds or less) –  submitted as mp4 file
    • Submit your video file and, if submitting a TikTok, also tag @DirectingChange on your post
  • Radio PSA (30-seconds) – submitted as mp3 file
    • Must be a recorded audio submission
  • Video PSA (60-seconds)  – mp4 file
    • For these films, be sure to review the judging criteria
    • All 60-second film entries received prior to March 1, 2021 will also compete against all 60-second films entered in the Hope and Justice category for a chance at a statewide prize.
    • Video PSAs must include this endslate within the 60 second time limit
    • Video PSAs must include a Title slide– You may use this title slide template or you may create your own title slide as long as it includes the required informationDownload the Title Slide Template here
  • Blog, poem, spoken word, essays, or other narrative – submitted as pdf or Word file
    • Narrative submissions should be 500 words or less

Entries may be submitted in any language as long as English captions or an English translation is included.

All entries must communicate one or more of the following content themes. The entry form will ask you to provide a short paragraph about your submission and how it meets the submission criteria and incorporates one or more of the content themes.

Whatever message you choose, your submission needs to be thoughtful and respectful.  It can be honest, but needs to convey that it is coming from a place of cultural humility and has the intent to further understanding and constructive dialogue about social justice and change.


If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, are thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately: 1-800-273-8255This is a free 24-hour hotline.
The contest is part of Each Mind Matters: California's Mental Health Movement and statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. These initiatives are funded by counties through the Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. The program is implemented by Your Social Marketer, Inc.
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