My Voice, Our City: What will you do?

The My Voice, Our City competition seeks to empower black and Latino young men, ages 16-24, local organizations, and community leaders to submit program ideas that will brighten the future of New York City.

Prizes
  • $32,000 in total unrestricted funding to use towards the implementation or growth of the projects proposed in top entries. Including:
  • Young Men’s Prize: One of three cash prizes of $5,000
  • Champion’s Prize: One cash prize of $15,000
  •  Early Entry Prize: One of two cash prizes of up to $1,000 (To be eligible, you must submit your entry prior to the 5 p.m. EDT June 19, 2013 early entry prize deadline.)

Timeline

Winner is Announced

September 25, 2013
  • Launch
    May 22, 2013
  • Early Entry Deadline
    June 19, 2013
  • Entry Deadline
    August 2, 2013
  • Voting start
    September 5, 2013
  • Voting end
    September 20, 2013
  • Winner is Announced
    September 25, 2013

Mayor Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) is partnering with Ashoka Changemakers to launch an online competition that gives you a stage to share the ideas you think will improve your quality of life and strengthen all of New York City. The {My Voice, Our City} competition seeks to empower black and Latino young men, ages 16-24, to lead the conversation and develop new program ideas that will brighten the future of New York City, and inspire the rest of the nation. {My Voice, Our City} invites you - young men, local organizations, and community leaders within New York City’s five boroughs - to enter ideas for initiatives that you think will change your community for the better. Everything from fresh ideas to expanding established projects are eligible for up to $32,000 in prizes. The public conversation about young black and Latino men in New York City often compares their success to their peers, measured by education, employment, criminal justice involvement, and health. In August of 2011, Mayor Bloomberg kicked off the Young Men’s Initiative as a citywide commitment to address the educational, professional, and personal barriers that impede young black and Latino men. But addressing the disparities was only half of the Mayor’s call to action. Creativity, achievement, and influence already exist within the black and Latino community of future leaders. The Mayor has charged young black and Latino men to lead in sharing ideas for meaningful programs and policies that affect their life and communities. New York City needs you, now more than ever. You have the power to help make meaningful and long lasting changes in your community and city. We need your voice and vision to help young men and New York City both reach their highest potential. Tell us what we don’t know—about the good things that are happening in your community, or the critical issues that we still need to address. Then, tell us your idea for addressing the issue, or sustaining and enhancing the good things to build a better community and city. This is your chance to speak up. It is your voice that counts. It is our city that matters. Your Voice. Our City.

 

Guidelines

Eligibility

  • The competition is open to all organizations and individuals that are working in or have a clear plan to implement their entry in one or more of New York City’s five boroughs.
  • Solutions should reflect the theme of the challenge — My Voice, My City: What will you do? —and engage in activities that strengthen New York City for young black and Latino men.
  • Preference for the Young Men’s prizes will be given to solutions that are proposed by young (16-24) black and Latino men.
  • We are only accepting your entry in English.

 

Prizes

  • $32,000 in total unrestricted funding to use towards the implementation or growth of the projects proposed in top entries. Including:
  • Young Men’s Prize: One of three cash prizes of $5,000
  • Champion’s Prize: One cash prize of $15,000
  •  Early Entry Prize: One of two cash prizes of up to $1,000 (To be eligible, you must submit your entry prior to the 5 p.m. EDT June 19, 2013 early entry prize deadline.)

 

Why You Should Enter

  • A chance to win!
  • Join the movement to change NYC’s communities for the better
  • Shape the future of your city and help the young men in it reach their highest potential
  • Connect with Ashoka Changemakers’ global online community of innovators and problem-solvers. Your participation in the competition gives you the opportunity to forge relationships with like-minded innovators, impact partners, sector experts, and investors online.
  • Gain visibility amongst others working in the New York City community and the firms and institutions that are partnering in this effort.

 

How to Enter

  • For advice about how to create a better entry and boost your chances of winning, read these tips about how to make your entry stand out.
  • Please complete the entry form (accessible from the competition homepage) and publish it by the deadline: 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

 

If you experience any difficulties in entering the competition please contact [email protected] for support.

 

Criteria

Winners of the My Voice, My City: What will you do? Competition will be those that best meet the following criteria:

Innovation

The best entries will be those that contribute improving the quality of life of young black and Latino men and strengthen all of New York City. Innovation does not necessarily involve inventing something entirely new. It may comprise new products or processes, as well as new applications or hybrid combinations of existing tools. Entries should describe how a solution is driven by original, ground-breaking ideas.

Social Impact

It is important that the idea or program results in measurable social impact in NYC communities. Some entries will have proven success at a small level, while others may have engaged thousands of people in communities across the city. Some solutions will achieve their impact quickly, while some will slowly seed social change for the long term. For ideas that are entered, they must show how they intend to create and track social impact.

Sustainability

For an idea or program to be truly effective, it must have a plan to exist and grow well into the future, a plan to sustain itself. Innovations will be judged on their long-term vision for increasing impact and creating lasting change. Entries should describe how they are currently financing their work, and how they plan to finance their work in the future. The most successful entrants go beyond discussing whether or not they will charge for services and describe a business plan. They should also demonstrate that they have strong partnerships and support networks to address ongoing needs, and to aid in scalability and maintenance of a clear financial strategy

 

Competition Deadlines, Procedures, and Rules

Online competition submissions are accepted until 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday July 24, 2013. At any time before this deadline, competition participants are encouraged to revise their entries based on questions and insights that they may receive from public comments or any advisors (participants can continue to modify their entry even after it’s been “published” publicly).

There are four main phases in the competition:

  • Entry Stage: May 15-July 24
  • (Early Entry Stage: May 15-June 19)
  • Review and Judging: July 24-September 4
  • A panel of expert judges and a team of Ashoka Changemakers staff select the Young Men’s prize finalists and Champion’s prize recipient.
  • Public Voting: September 4-September 18
  • The public will vote to select the three Young Men’s prize recipients from a field of finalists.
  • Winners Announcement: September 25

 

Prizes

Early Entry Prizes

Early entries received by June 15, 2013 will be eligible to win one of two cash prizes of up to $1,000. Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude entrants from winning additional competition prizes in any way. All entries will be evaluated on an equal basis at the completion of the entry period, according to the Changemakers criteria.

Young Men’s Prizes

Three $5,000 prizes will be awarded to the top three entries submitted by participants between the ages of 16 and 24. Preference will be given to entries submitted by young black and Latino men. The top entries in this category will be selected as Finalists by an internal group of Ashoka Changemakers staff and a panel of expert judges. Then the public will vote for their top three Finalists during a two week voting period from September 4-18. The top three vote-getters will each win a Young Men’s prize of $5,000.

Champion’s Prize

A $15,000 prize will be given to strongest overall entry in the competition as determined by an internal group of Ashoka Changemakers staff and a panel of expert judges. (Please note that this prize will NOT be determined by a public vote).

Disclaimer—Compliance with Legal Restrictions

Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. Any grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.

 

Prizes

Total value:
32 000
  • $32,000 in total unrestricted funding to use towards the implementation or growth of the projects proposed in top entries. Including:
  • Young Men’s Prize: One of three cash prizes of $5,000
  • Champion’s Prize: One cash prize of $15,000
  •  Early Entry Prize: One of two cash prizes of up to $1,000 (To be eligible, you must submit your entry prior to the 5 p.m. EDT June 19, 2013 early entry prize deadline.)

Entries