Southern Illinois University

    PSPPI Democracy Prize Application Form

    Paul Simon Democracy Prize Application

    Three prizes of $5,000 will be awarded to current Illinois college or university students for the design and implementation of projects to revitalize democracy in their communities.

    We are accepting proposals that are persuasive, imaginative, optimistic, and can plausibly be implemented within six months. Videos should be between 3 and 5 minutes and will be assessed on the quality of the proposal, not the video itself. However, creative and persuasive, and well-produced videos are encouraged.

    The three winning videos will be posted on the Institute’s website and YouTube channel. Prize recipients will be invited to a celebratory reception at the Institute in the Fall of 2024 and asked to describe how their proposals are being implemented. Group submissions are accepted.

    • Current Illinois college or university student
    • Design and implement a project to revitalize democracy
    • Submission of video proposal between 3 - 5 minutes and proposal outline
    Video proposal examples can include hosting public discussions or debates, registering voters, funding school newspapers to cover local issues, creating a speaker series on community matters, developing a program to recruit and train poll watchers--or coming up with an entirely new idea to expand and revitalize democracy.

    Application Process
    • Application opens March 21, 2024
    • Video proposal deadline: May 1, 2024
    • Winners announced on May 15, 2024
    If you have any questions, please email or call 618-543-4009.