Welcome to the dismantle. Contest:

Creating a World Without “-isms” Through Art


High School students nationwide (US only)


The dismantle. contest awards $2,000 prizes to young leaders who challenge systems of oppression through art, including visual art, music, essays, stories, poetry, videos, photography, and other creative formats.

Thank you for your interest in dismantle.

We are no longer accepting entries. Please stay tuned as we review the submissions.

Let your voice be heard

We have seen the resurgence of white supremacy culture, state-sanctioned violence on marginalized communities, and the organized efforts of politicians and lawmakers aimed at disempowering and erasing trans and nonbinary young folx. These systems are not broken. They were designed to operate as they are with the purpose of keeping marginalized groups in a constant struggle for survival. Nationwide, young people are calling for a change in these systems that continue to fail us.

To those young people, we say: Enter the dismantle. contest and let your voice be heard. Show how these systems or structures impact your life, your community, and the world. How might we dismantle (take apart, break into pieces, deconstruct) these systems? What would it take? How would YOU do it?

Use whatever art form speaks to you, and be as creative as possible!

Some of these systems of oppression are:

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One of the most influential systems of power in our society that centers, privileges, and prioritizes masculinity and/or cis-gendered men. Patriarchy is practiced systematically in the ways and methods through which power is distributed in society (jobs and positions of power given to men in government, policy, criminal justice, etc.) while also influencing how we interact with one another interpersonally (gender expectations, sexual dynamics, space taking, etc.).


A mix of prejudice and power leads to the domination and exploitation of one group (the dominant or majority group) over another (the non-dominant, minority, or racialized group). It asserts that one group is supreme and superior while the other is inferior. Racism is any individual action or institutional practice backed by institutional power that subordinates people because of their color or ethnicity.


A two-part system that strips value away from Blackness while systematically marginalizing  Black people and their issues. A term used to describe the unique discrimination, violence, and harms imposed on and impacting Black people specifically.


A belief that one sex is superior to or more valuable than another sex, but more specifically, in our society, that men are superior to women. It imposes limits on what women and girls can and should do. Sexist assumptions about women, which manifest as gender stereotypes, rank women as having less value than men. It supports the ridiculous notion that they are objects and property of men. Such hierarchical thinking can be conscious and hostile or unconscious, manifesting as unconscious bias.

The Gender Binary

A classification system consisting of two genders — man and woman. It is a concept or belief that there are only two genders and that one’s assigned gender will align with traditional social constructs of masculine and feminine identity, expression, and sexuality.

White Supremacy Culture

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond defines white supremacy culture as the idea (ideology) that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions. All the institutions within our society reproduce white supremacy culture. In particular, the media, the education system, western science (which played a significant role in reinforcing the idea of race as a biological truth with the white race as the “ideal” top of the hierarchy), and the Christian church have played central roles in reproducing the idea of white supremacy (i.e., that white is “normal,” “better,” “smarter,” “holy” in contrast to Black, Indigenous, and other People and Communities of Color.

Tell us, how would you dismantle. the “-isms”?

Bring your creative voice to this contest, and you might win a $2,000 award for your idea! Submissions can include art forms like essays, poetry, music, art, photography, film, etc.

Experiment. Think outside the box.

Think about how these systems and structures shape our lives. Break down these systems and show us what a better world looks like. Let the following questions guide you during your creation process:

  • How do these systems of oppression impact you, your peers, and your family?
  • In what ways could young people today dismantle these structures?
  • How can you use your art to educate and inspire young people to create a better future? A better world?
  • How would you educate your friends, family, and community about these systems? 
  • What would a world free of these structures look like for traditionally marginalized and excluded folx?
  • What does your artwork say about how to dismantle these oppressive structures?

Articulate your vision using any and all creative tools at your disposal.

What is the dismantle. Contest?

The dismantle. contest is an opportunity to welcome ideas from young voices about how we can deconstruct systems of oppression and create something new and empowering instead.


To create a platform that supports young people as they create cultural change that dismantles systems of oppression (aka the “-isms”).


A world where systems of oppression do not dominate our culture, where everyone is encouraged to embrace their full humanity, no matter what that looks like.


Young folx possess an endless reserve of insight, brilliance and creativity to help shape their own future.

What are "-isms"?

Systems of oppression, or the “-isms”, are systemic and interconnected. They do not happen in isolation. When we talk about racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and other forms of oppression, we must understand that they operate at various levels. They happen at the personal level (an individual makes a homophobic comment), the interpersonal level (an educator expects lower academic achievement from Black students), the institutional level (a state law banning transgender students from school sports teams), and the cultural level (native children sent to boarding schools where they were punished for speaking their own language). These “-isms” dehumanize, disempower, and contribute to the erasure of people who don’t ascribe to these beliefs—too often, this is done with violence.


Young Adult Council

The Young Adult Council is composed of a group of young leaders from A Call To Men’s Youth ACT! (Actively Committed To) and the Young Adult Advisory Board. These young leaders engage their peers and communities to promote healthy masculinity, healthy relationships, preventing gender-based violence, and creating a better world for ALL women, girls and those in the margins of the margins. The Young Adult Council will review all eligible submissions and select the 5 high school winners for this year’s Dismantle art contest.

Want to get involved/support the dismantle. contest?

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