Human Rights Speaks: A Creative Arts Contest

Human Rights Speaks Creative Arts Contest Poster with Deadline for Entries Extended to November 30th, 2020

Original poster artwork by Morgan Overton


The Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations (PghCHR) is inviting all youth ages/grades K-12th who live in or go to school in the City of Pittsburgh to come up with their own, original answer to the following question:

Legendary civil rights activist Bayard Rustin once proclaimed “We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers.” What is an angelic troublemaker and what does that quote mean to you regarding human rights?

There are three age groups, K-3rd, 4th-8th, and 9th-12th, and three categories, writing, digital art, and physical art. Winners in each age group and category will get a monetary prize in the form of a gift card or cash equivalent ($125 for 1st place winners; $50 for 2nd place winners); have their entry shared and displayed by the Commission; and get to attend an awards ceremony with the Mayor and PghCHR Commissioners. Additional prizes are to be provided by our sponsor WQED.  Our media sponsor WQED will provide media coverage of the contest. Our media sponsor PublicSource will feature the winners. Additionally, winners will have a chance to be featured in the program of the Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit

Entries must be the original work of the person entering the contest. Please feel free to be creative and expressive. Each contestant may submit only one entry and may choose from one of the three categories:

A. Writing. For example, a poem, an essay, or fiction or non-fiction short-story. Entries may not be more than 1,000 words.

B. Physical or Tactile Art. For example, a painting, sculpture, or fashion. Entries may include a short, written explanation of the entry of no more than 50 words on a separate document or paper.

C. Digital Art. For example, a music/song recording, a music video, short film, photograph, or graphic design. Entries may not be more than 5 minutes long.


Please complete this entry form when submitting your entry and provide the necessary information, including name, grade, school, the type of entry (Writing, Physical Art, or Digital Art), and the title of the entry.

Contestants can begin submitting their entries on October 1st, 2020, and all entries are due by the close of business on November 30th, 2020. Entries should be submitted in one of the following ways:

  1. For all entries, email the file or link for the work to with the subject line “Human Rights Speaks Submission.” Include all of the entry information in the email or an attached document. 
  2. For physical or tangible art entries, you can email a digital picture, photograph or short video of the entry, along with the short description.
    • The short description may be in an attached document.
    • The video should be no more than 20 seconds long.
    • If you are not able to email your entry, you can drop off your entry with the short description on Monday, November 30, 2020, from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., downtown at the City-County Building, 9th floor, Ross St. Side, in the large conference room (to the right after getting off the elevator). The City-County Building is at 414 Grant St., Pittsburgh, PA, 15219.


Printable Contest Materials

Contest Entry Form          Full Contest Details            Poster to Share

Contest Entry Form - Swahili          Contest Entry Form - Spanish          Contest Entry Form - Chinese

Full Contest Details - Spanish

Poster to Share - Spanish

Please Note:

By submitting an entry to the contest, you are giving the Commission permission to publish your entry. You will still own the work, and the Commission will credit you for creating it. Winners will be compensated per the prize notice listed above.

The Human Rights Speaks Creative Arts Contest is a safe space for Pittsburgh’s youth to speak about human rights, civil rights, justice, equality, and equity, and aims to expand awareness of the existence and work of the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations.


To request an accommodation, interpreter, or translated materials, please contact us by phone at 412-436-9619 or 412-426-5449, or by email at

Special thanks to our sponsors:

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