Sam Ennis

 

April 16, 2011

Ames High junior Sam Ennis is the winner of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa's 2011 Mannheimer student video contest, which depicts a civil liberty that is important to the entrant.

Sam’s video highlights privacy concerns about using social media such as Facebook. In it, he creates “Mr. Book,” a fictional character who represents a social networking site.

“I decided to make a video about Facebook because there are a lot of people I know who put stuff out there on Facebook and don’t realize how many people can see it,” Sam said. “I wanted the video to explain that but also have a humorous tone.”

ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Ben Stone said he appreciated the timeliness of the topic. "The video reminds the viewer that voluntarily sharing everything about you on the Internet can be a bad idea. The importance of preserving personal privacy in the digital world of today reflects a core value in the civil liberties pantheon, and so we are pleased to award Sam this year's prize.”

The Mannheimer Award was established by the family of the late Robert Mannheimer, a Des Moines attorney who supported the ACLU of Iowa for more than 50 years as a cooperating attorney, board member, and donor. The winner receives a $500 cash prize.

The annual contest is open to students in 7th through 12th grades in Iowa. The video must be about a civil liberty the student particularly prizes, such as freedom of speech and expression, racial justice, student rights, immigrant rights, the right to privacy, and fair treatment regardless of gender, religion, or sexual orientation. The video should be between 3 to 10 minutes.

Click here to view the video.