Continuing our discussion of video as a strategy to promote engagement, enforcement, and awareness for human rights issues, we want to highlight that YouTube has selected 20 non-profit organizations to participate in its YouTube Next Cause program. These organizations were chosen because they want to further develop their use of YouTube and internet video to advance their missions, interest areas or campaigns in front of a broader audience. Breakthrough, an Overbrook grantee, was among those selected to participate in a summit in San Francisco in April where they will participate in one-on–one training sessions and tutorials on how best to use this technology from the site. Breakthrough and the others will explore how to build on their current usage of YouTube to engage existing supporters and expand their reach to new viewers.
In the wake of excitement/controversy around the viral video Kony2012, it will be interesting to see the expanding role of social media and video to advance social justice and human rights issues. Breakthrough has long recognized the power of video to effectively promote human rights and tolerance, and this selection by YouTube reflects their successes and potential. Breakthrough currently uses video and social media games to shift hearts and minds on human rights issues that deeply affect our country, including immigrant rights, domestic violence, women’s rights, equality, diversity, tolerance and justice. The organization has already posted many videos on its YouTube channel and we encourage you to check them out.