The Sisters of Mercy are holding a #MakeMercyReal Video Contest. The contest began on Monday, September 18 and will end on Thursday, March 1 at 11:45 PM.
This contest is national and SXU’s Chicago Campus Ministry is hosting the event.
Director of Justice Outreach, Mission and Ministry of the West Midwest Community, Mike Poulin provided additional information and insight about the contest.
“I initially thought that the contest would be regional, but when I started to talk to others about the idea, the consensus was that it should be national, including all of the U.S. regions of the Sisters of Mercy.
Then, some of the national leadership heard about the idea and recommended that the contest also be open to the Sister of Mercy communities in Central and South America, Jamaica, the Philippines, and Guam, places where we already have institutional ties. So, the project quickly became international in scope,” said Poulin.
The rules for the video are simple. Videos need to be up to 5 minutes in length or less and must focus on one or more of the Mercy Critical Concerns. It should also do one or more of the following: educate about an injustice, demonstrate how an individual or group with a history of activism has confronted injustice (the action can still be in process), or show how an individual or group has been negatively impacted by an injustice.
The video must be formatted as a MP4 and can be in English or Spanish.
One of the best ways to see what the Sisters of Mercy are looking for is to view the entries that were honored in last year’s contest. Two winning videos and four that were awarded honorable mention can be viewed at https://www.sistersofmercy.org/makemercyreal/video-contest/2017-makemercyreal-video-contest-winners/.
Poulin believes the goal for the contest is twofold, “Those of us who do justice ministry for the Sisters of Mercy are always looking for resources to help us educate people about the Mercy Critical Concerns (Earth, Women, Anti-Racism, Immigration, Nonviolence).”
Last year, the video entries where 8 minutes long and the focus was about educating others on how an individual or group experiences an injustice. Poulin continued, “We thought it would be great to have some short videos that focused on various Critical Concerns.
By having a contest, we thought we could encourage young people to generate videos that we could use for education. At the same time, these young filmmakers would, themselves, be learning more about a Critical Concern. So, the process of the contest educates and the product of the contest educates.”
The contest is open to both high school and college students who attend a Mercy high school, college/university, or who are involved in another Mercy-affiliated ministry.
Videos can be completed as part of a class assignment, project for a club or school organization, graduation project, or independently. They may be completed by small groups or by an individual.
Poulin is hopeful to receive submissions from different students all across the world, “We have several hopes for this year. We received 47 entries for our first contest, one hope is that we get as many or more interest this year. Most of our entries last year were from high school students, so another hope is to engage more college students this year ; So an article from you could help with that!
We also hope that the overall quality of entries will be better this year. I think it will help having the winning videos available online so that young filmmakers can get an idea of what we liked last year.”
Prizes are as follows: individual winners will receive financial awards, winning entries will be featured on the Sisters of Mercy Institute web site, www.sistersofmercy.org/contest, and winners and their winning institution will be formally announced.
All students are welcomed to participate and Poulin is excited to see what possible future filmmakers will submit.
“I’m excited to see what happens next. Our young videographers were so creative last year, and I bet they learned a lot with their projects.
I’ve also been able to use many of the videos in the education work that I do. So, the products of the contest have been useful too. I hope that the participation we receive continues to justify us holding the contest into the future because I think it is a great opportunity for young people at Mercy schools.”
For students interested, final submissions must be in by Thursday, March 1 at 11:45 PM. For more or general information about the video contest or rules, contact Campus Ministry through email or The Den. Students may also email Mike Poulin, at email@example.com for more details.