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Creating “community-generated” video

September 26, 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Aquifer Media created the above videos in collaboration with Homies Unidos and other family advocacy groups in support of the “Child Citizen Protection Act“. I set out to to facilitate a process where these teens helped conceptualize, write and perform in the video (I did the editing with lots of help from my friend Joe). They’re designed to be paired with an action alert on a specific legislative bill. We have Spanish narration versions in the works.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to encourage on-line progressive participation and collaboration and translating it into real-world action. While tools like blogs, etc.  have been useful, I’m wondering what other digital media is also conducive to get new folks involved, like video.

Rather than leaving video to the purview of filmmakers and journalists, websites such as YouTube and tools such as the Flip Camera  have demonstrated that digital video is a compelling medium that anyone can easily create. Allowing community members to hold the camera (both literally and figuratively) can build their leadership and teach new skills. Through the exercise of creating video content, participants learn about collaboration, negotiation and teamwork. Advocates can assist in this process by teaching effective messaging and basic technological skills. Such collaboration between advocates and constituents can seed wildfire participation in the immigration reform debate and ultimately lead to greater civic engagement.

You can put these videos to work right away!

* Read more about these bills on At the bottom of the center panel under “Bill Number”, select “H.R.” or “S” and type in either bill number.

In the end, it wasn’t that hard, was it? Calling Congress (and making video) “is a piece of cake!”

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