ACLU Announces Winners Of Third Annual Stand Up For Freedom Contest

May 7, 2008 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today announced the winners of its third annual Stand Up for Freedom Contest. Launched July 4th, 2007, the contest challenged people between the ages of 17 and 29 to produce a video public service announcement (PSA) or podcast detailing one of today’s pressing civil liberties issues.

Rogin Kim won in both the Best Overall PSA and Best Production Value categories for his comically poignant video “Hard to Swallow,” in which the government declares that “Rocks are Food” and an unwitting restaurant patron is subjected to some very rigid soup. Sarah Kramer was the Best Overall Podcast winner for “The Kids Are Listening,” a podcast that took a look at American foreign policy through the eyes of New York City children.

Runner up prizes were awarded to the podcast “Blinded Justice” by Gregory Damis-Wulff for Originality, and to the PSA “Big Brother” by Byranne Cooke for Humor.

“While we received many impressive entries, Rogin Kim and Sarah Kramer exhibited outstanding creativity and thoughtfulness in their responses to our challenge,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “This contest is proof that young people are willing to stand up and defend civil liberties with energy and imagination.”

A pool of entries from young people across the country was narrowed down to 14 finalists, and a panel of acclaimed judges selected the winners. Judges included “Hoop Dreams” director Peter Gilbert, Tony Award-winning playwright Sarah Jones, Executive VP of Participant Productions Diane Weyermann, BET’s Vice President of Original Programming Robyn Lattaker-Johnson, and ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.

The annual contest is part of the ACLU’s ongoing StandUp campaign which seeks to educate, inspire and activate the next generation of civil libertarians.

This ongoing effort follows the release of “Civil Discourse,” a bi-weekly comic strip created for the ACLU’s StandUp campaign by nationally syndicated cartoonist Matt Bors. The contest’s winning entries as well as the new comic strip can be found on the StandUp website (

To learn more about the contest and other ACLU StandUp activities, visit

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