The Voices of Youth Justice

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NPR Student Podcast Challenge


This is such an incredible opportunity that I had to share!!!

Click here to read more!

Let me know if you need any ideas or help to get this idea up and running.


Unsung Eblast

Click here to read our story about Unsung!

Thank you! I have enjoyed reading your student surveys. Please let your students know that we do make changes based on their feedback.

I will work on getting the final round review comments out to you soon.


Good Morning!

I am so excited to announce our top five winners!!!

1st Place: Unsung https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF-jOyllHII

New Bridge High School, Oregon

2nd Place: System Failed https://youtu.be/_eoxtGDtMHw

Naselle Youth Camp School, Washington

3rd Place: Fed Up https://youtu.be/6E8AhNX4rOI

Hogan Street, Missouri

4th Place: A His Story Buried in Time https://youtu.be/MRwD__ek6qA

Hogan Street, Missouri

5th Place: We All Belong https://youtu.be/RZYVbH2FtPQ

Cypress School at Okeechobee Girls Academy, Florida

Youtube Playlist of the TOP FIVE: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3a3OZXJqWMZJePYo1SIvgu-_r8uH71Dy


Happy Monday!

I am working on putting all your student feedback from our first round reviewers in a document that I will send out this week to each teacher.

In the meantime, can you give us some feedback? Click here to fill out the Unsung Teacher Survey.

Thank you!


Here are your top ten songs for Unsung:

*System Failed- Naselle Youth Camp School

*UnSung- New Bridge High School

*Fed Up- Hogan Street

*Choices- Trask River High School

*A His Story Buried in Time- Hogan Street

*Trapped in the System- Naselle Youth Camp School

*Yesterday's History and Today's Mystery- Hogan Street

*Poverty- RFK South Hadley

*We All Belong- Cypress School at Okeechobee Girls Academy

*Why TO BE Killed- New Madrid Bend Youth Center

WINNERS will be announced October 29th!

Almost all of our first round judges left feedback for your students. I will be putting together the feedback and sending it to you soon.


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Aloe Blacc

With the release of his major-label debut Lift Your Spirit, Aloe Blacc moved and inspired audiences across the globe through his powerful fusion of soul, folk, R&B, and pop. Arriving in 2014, the Grammy Award-nominated album spanned from feel-good anthems like the platinum-selling single “The Man” to intensely charged tracks like Blacc’s acoustic version of “Wake Me Up”—the massive hit he sang and co-wrote for Swedish DJ Avicii, which topped the charts in more than 100 countries. Now at work on the follow-up to Lift Your Spirit, the L.A.-born rapper/singer/songwriter has expanded his emotional terrain to capture an even more personal element of the human experience.

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Dumi RIGHT is a performing artist, MC, writer and organizer, who has been recognized as a

standard bearer in global and progressive hip hop circles for many years. His influence has been documented in numerous domestic and international publications as well as in academic works, including Say It Loud! The Story of Rap Music by K. Maurice Jones and The Hip Hop Wars by Tricia Rose. He has remained immersed in the culture and business of hip-hop, releasing a number of noteworthy album projects and performing all across the country and on the world stage.

Dumi recently released a brand new album, Doing It The Right Way, that offers fresh and insightful rhymes and wordplay over a gritty soundscape of captivating beats. He serves up social commentary on the angst and frustration of these times, while remaining positive, earnest, and at times even playful to avoid being trite and nihilistic.

In addition, he was previously selected to participate as a facilitator in a cultural exchange program in Thailand where he taught emceeing and songwriting to youth as part of the Next Level initiative through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dumi’s approach is to use hip hop to articulate unique perspectives, background and experience and serve a common bond for self-expression and to use for people to tell their story and learn to appreciate the views of others and build self-confidence. He leverages the art form and harnesses its ability to be the unifying voice of the youth.


Instagram: dumiright

Twitter: dumiright

Facebook: dumirightmusic

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Marcy Mistrett

Marcy Mistrett has been the CEO at the Campaign for Youth Justice since 2014. The Campaign for Youth Justice advocates to end youth being charged, sentenced and incarcerated as adults. In the decade since the organization opened, more than 35 states have changed their laws making it more difficult to treat children as adults by launching campaigns that are anchored in the experiences of the youth and families most impacted by these harmful policies.

Trained in social work, Marcy began her career working in community-based legal aid with court-involved youth. She worked as part of the legal team capturing psycho-social histories and contributing to mitigation reports for youth, particularly youth tried as adults. After 7 years in direct service, Marcy worked at a national funding collaborative, the Institute for Community Peace, focused on developing community-based responses to violence prevention. As the Director of Training and Evaluation, Marcy trained grantees on effective coalition building, promising practices in violence prevention, resident engagement, structural racism, and sustainability strategies. Marcy also oversaw $2 million in evaluation grants to measure the collective impact of the community-driven initiatives.

Marcy left the Institute for Community Peace to open the D.C. office of The Posse Foundation, a national college success and leadership program that identified and trained young, urban leaders from diverse backgrounds, leveraged full tuition college scholarships at top tier colleges and universities, and supported them through college graduation and into careers, with a 90% graduation rate.

Prior to coming to CFYJ, Marcy was the Executive Director of a cooperative, play based preschool in Washington DC and partner at Onward Consulting, a non-profit consulting practice in the District. She has her BA from American University and her AM in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.

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Taylor Haun

Taylor is a music teacher and musician living in Austin, TX using music as a way to connect, heal, and grow. He plays in several Austin based groups including the largest Brazilian samba ensemble in North America - Austin Samba. Taylor teaches music with an emphasis on creativity and connecting students to the world around them. Through ensembles like the McCallum High School Samba Knights, and Westwood High School Afro-Cuban ensemble, students get exposed to rich rhythms and cultural traditions. Taylor also teaches students privately and in group settings with music production technology. While teaching in this creative music context, Taylor empowers students to produce their own sounds and share them with the world. His students, as young as 9 years old, have their music available on iTunes and Spotify.

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Mel Daneke

"You Have a Voice. Share It With The World" Vocal Production, Arranging, Education

Unsung Reviews: Round One


Thank you so much for your submissions. I listened to each and every song before I shared them with our reviewers. Please tell your students that I am so proud of their hard work and their voices really resonated with me!

The reviewers will send their scores in this week and we are going to announce the top ten songs on the S'more this Friday. The top ten songs will move on to our final reviewers and the winners will be announced on October 26th!

I am so excited to announce our final round reviewers. We have some exceptional musicians and policy makers joining us! Be on the lookout for that post...COMING SOON!

Lastly, we have asked each reviewer to leave feedback when they review. I will be sending you the feedback for your students after I have all the reviews collected. There are two types of feedback that the reviewers can give. There is a list of words that describe how the song made them feel and a comments section. I attached a picture below of what this looks like in the review form.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

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Woot Woot!


We are in the last two days of the initiative. Please submit your songs by Friday, October 12 at midnight. The first round reviewers will be receiving them on Saturday. We will announce the top 10 finalists on October 19th!

Submission Portal: Song Submission Portal

Click here to watch a video on how to export an mp3 file from Soundtrap and add it to your submission form.

Questions: Email: kcrawford@ceeas.org or text/call 512- 337-2839

Unsung: Week One


I hope you all had a wonderful week teaching Unsung. As we move into week two, I want to share a few things.

1. Click here to download the review rubric. This will help guide students as they are creating their songs.

2. Click here to watch a video on how to export an mp3 file from Soundtrap and add it to your submission form.

3. Please feel free to share your sketchnotes with us by upload here. You can upload We Didn't Start the verses here.


*Songs can be written as a solo artist or as a group.

*If a student has previously created a beat or melody they can use it in their song as long as it is original and has not been previously published.

*Students can use any platform to record their song as long as they upload it as an MP3.

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Unsung: Launch Video


Unsung Curriculum Activities and Contest Guidelines

We are so excited to launch the Unsung materials!

Get started with the contest materials:

We have created a series of activities that are completely customizable to meet the needs of your students or the time you have available for the initiative. You do not have to complete all of the activities and you can add to them to bring in additional standards and content.

Curriculum Activities- Google Slideshow

***Need a Powerpoint version? Email us: kcrawford@ceeas.org

Teacher Video Guide-



Click below to learn more about the contest guidelines and the song submission portal:

Contest Guidelines

Song Submission Portal

Get ready for the technology:

Technology Guidelines

Technology Video-



If you don’t have the technology or the internet...don’t worry! We don’t want access to technology to be a barrier for students. You are welcome to participate and capture your student’s songs and submit MP3 files. Some schools are going to record on a teacher computer or a tablet with a microphone. Get creative!

Teacher Video Guide


Logging Students into Soundtrap

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We envision a more just and fair society, where all young people, especially those who are involved in the juvenile or criminal justice system, receive the support, care, and education they need and deserve to realize their full potential and pursue their dreams.