Civics is the study of the rights and duties of citizenship. Visionary In Harmony with Hope Award winners with civics – fostering engaged and committed citizenship – as a focus are: 

Student filmmakers have shone a spotlight on civics  with winning films including these alphabetized entries:

  • Blind Eye: This film is a call to action and civic engagement. As two men go about their day, they pass by multiple people in need. What would happen if they chose not to ignore the violence and poverty to which they have become blind? We may not all be heroes, but we all have a choice to make a difference. Film By: Chris Stevens, University of South Florida. Winner: First Prize, 2011
  • Game Changer:   In “Game Changer,” a man lives his life in this way, viewing the world as a game he can change for the better, if only he steps in in time. Film By: Avadh Rana, Ahsan Zaman, University of South Carolina. Winner: Honorable Mention (Best Surprise Ending) 2014
  • The Gerstein Report: This film takes a look back to a dark moment in world history, to make a timeless point about what is required of us, always. Sometimes, the duty of a patriot is to stand up against the evil that overtakes one’s country. This is the true story of Kurt Gerstein, a Nazi officer who risked his life to inform the Allies of the horrors of the WWII concentration camps. Film By: Matt Fennell, Emory University. Winner: Honorable Mention (Ripple maker) 2011
  • Hands of Change: In this film, real people convey how they’d change the world, through a simple visual cue. Film By: Jen Brown, Sonoma State University. Winner: Honorable Mention (Artistic Excellence), 2009
  • I Alone:  This film shows a student stepping up against hate – being a good citizen. It’s a  timely reminder of how the innocents suffer when we paint with broad brushes of hate – in this case a Muslim-American who faces difficulties due to a knee-jerk response to extremism. Film By: University of South Carolina Winner: First Place, 2016
  • I Am Human:   This film introduces over 20 individuals. Speaking in over 15 languages, they express one singular message: that we are all human, we all have struggles, and we all have hope. Film By: Jacob Spaulding, University of Georgia. Winner: Honorable Mention, 2012
  • Power to the People: In this film, students comment on their perception of civic society today. It’s a poetic, hopeful call to action in the form of a powerful music video. Film By: Brad Wong, Leo Volcy, The Meteorites, University of Arizona. Winner: First Prize, 2013
  • Stand Up: A film on civic engagement, showing students standing up, one by one, for education outreach, for animal rights, for sustainability, for civic engagement, for compassion, for climate change, and for so much more. These ripple makers are standing up for our shared future. Their invitation stands. Film By: Alexandra Morris’ Crew, Northeastern University. Winner: Second Prize, 2014
  • The Right Decision: This powerful, fictional tale wrestles with the rights and responsibilities of good citizenship as it imagines an FBI director grappling with the trade off between national security and privacy. Film By: Indra Sofian, Georgia Institute of Technology. Winner: Honorable Mention (Democracy) 2015.
  • Volunteer: Volunteering brings out our best. In this film, a multigenerational story, two women who have dedicated their lives to the dream of a fully literate Georgia are highlighted: Dr. Josephine Reed Taylor, President of Atlanta Technical College and the Assistant Commissioner of the Georgia Office of Adult Literacy, and Odessa Whiters, an EAGLE Award Winning literacy volunteer. Film By: David Bradley, Georgia State University. Winner: Honorable Mention (Best Message) 2008.
  • 3 Questions 27 People: In this film, 27 real people answer three simple questions: What bothers you the most? What have you done to change that? What are you ridiculously good at? We all have skills and value, but how can we all make a difference and what is going to change if we don’t even try? Film By: Krystal Le, Virginia Tech. Winner: Honorable Mention, 2014

We hope that information/films in this spotlight page have filled you with new hope for the future, and perhaps inspired you to action as well. For more ideas for how you can make a big ripple with your time, treasure, and talents visit our “make a ripple” page,

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