Welcome to the Young Justice Nerds Application Portal!
Young Justice Nerds Awards
The Young Justice Nerds awards (YJN) are a ‘first of their kind’ competition to celebrate high school and college students across the country doing the work of promoting improvements in criminal justice. The competition asks high school students (with the help of an advisor/mentor/teacher) and college students to submit written materials and a video essay on how they are using science and technology to improve the criminal justice system. The winning submission will be shown during the Center for Policing Equity’s (CPE) Mapping the Science of Justice Convening and subsequently at CPE’s Celebrating the Science of Justice awards dinner, both to be held on May 3, 2018 in Washington, DC. The goal is to lift up the passions, genius, and inspiration young people have for justice. By highlighting the amazing talents of young people from around the country, we also demonstrate how our children’s brilliance can improve our neighborhoods. In this way, science, technology, and justice can work together for community uplift.
One high school team and 5 – 10 college winners of Young Justice Nerds Awards will travel to Washington, D.C. to receive their awards from the Head of Google Education, North America, the President of the Center for Policing Equity, and a number of celebrity endorsers. All travel and lodging will be provided by the Center for Policing Equity, as well an allowance for food and incidentals. Additionally, winning college students and high school teams will receive prizes from Google. Finally, winners will have their names, pictures, and project publicized by the teams at the Center for Policing Equity, Google Education, and The Atlantic.
The goal of the Young Justice Nerds Awards is to lift up the innovative spirit of young people who are combining their love of science and technology with their passion for justice. That goal is at the heart of the evaluation criteria for the award. Applicants should highlight work they have done and/or are currently doing that combines science and technology (e.g., chemistry, physics, computer science, social psychology, etc.) with criminal justice reform (e.g., making police vests safer, reducing incarceration rates, improving community trust of criminal justice systems, etc.). The emphasis for these awards is on empowering young people to shape their communities, so priority will be given to projects that move outside the classroom (though particularly impressive classroom projects will also be considered). The categories for evaluation are:
Innovation: The originality of the project or projects. The likelihood that this work could produce real change.
Passion: Demonstrated commitment of the students to the work. Evidence of the students’ desire to go beyond the classroom with the work.
Education: The centrality of science and technology to the work. Also, the ability to educate others about and/or with the work.
All application materials are due by April 15, 2018. CPE will announce the winners on April 17, and all travel and lodging arrangements will be made shortly thereafter to ensure that all winners can be in Washington, D.C. for the May 3 awards.
The Center for Policing Equity is the nation’s leading research and action think tank on racial justice and policing. In an era of political divisiveness and social unrest, CPE believes collaboration with law enforcement and communities is imperative. CPE has worked for 10 years to hold police and their communities accountable and build trust in cities and states across the country. By providing evidence-based analytic tools and up-to-date research, CPE’s work amplifies the need for a broader bipartisan movement for criminal justice reform.
The Science of Justice Gala – underwritten by Google - will kick off the “20/20 by 2020” initiative – by 2020 CPE will have enough departments in its National Justice Database (NJD) to provide reliable national estimates of racial disparities in police stops and use of force. In advance of the gala, CPE will unveil new software created in partnership with Google that can automatically audit, clean, standardize, analyze, and interpret racial disparities in police data. The software reliably replaces human efforts that used to take 9-12 months to complete—and accomplishes them in closer to 9-12 minutes.