Through this initiative, students explore policy issues that impact their lives.  Students harness the power of music to create, produce, and share songs that address issues related to juvenile justice reform.  The initiative culminates in a national songwriting contest.  

Through this initiative, we amplify the voices of youth justice.

Registration will open a few weeks in advance to initiative launch

2021 Launch Contest

Each year we launch Unsung with a mini-contest.  This year's launch contest centers around creating music and beats with the everyday item of a pen.  You will find resources to carry out the launch contest within the slides and lesson plans below.

Submissions are due by October 5, 2020

Teacher Resources

The semi-structured curriculum below is ready to be customized by teachers.  We have provided a 5-day curriculum that can be used in the beginning of October. The remainder of the month is open for the creation, revision, and selection of songs for school-wide contests.  See the calendar below for the submission deadline for the BreakFree contest.

Adjusting to meet your students' needs is strongly encouraged.

Lesson plans

Please note: Slides are in google format, but can be downloaded in .ppt. All slides for days 1-5 are included. All materials or handouts referenced are linked to in the individual google slides or teacher notes accompanying the slides.

To download the slides as Microsoft PPT, click here.

Click the above to access the slides for the optional math and songwriting lessons. If you need a ppt version, you can access them here.

Click above to visit the Soundtrap tool to use in your classroom.

You can watch a video on how to access and log into Soundtrap, here.

Learn more about the songwriting contest.

View live on September 22nd at 2:30pm EST.

Song submissions should be in Soundtrap or mp3 version.  

*As a reminder, each school may submit a maximum of 3 student songs.

2021 Calendar

Please note, the lesson days can be customized to best fit your school schedule.

*Remember that you must build-in time to host a school-wide competition to select your school's top speeches for submission.

21-22 Calendars (1).png

Teacher Video Guide

Soundtrap Video Guide



1st Place



Grayson County Post-Adjudication (TX)

2nd Place

How I Feel


JC Montgomery (CA)

3rd Place

Impact Statement

Omar O. Jacquez "Q" F.

Donald E. Long Juvenile Center (OR)


1st Place


E. Brown, T. Fulwood, and D. Tanis

Polk Halfway House (FL)

2nd Place

Racial Injustice

Koeppell, Jordan, Paige, and Kenny

Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (CA)

3rd Place


J. Johnson

Hogan Street Youth Center (MO)