Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Raise awareness, reduce stigma and empower by sharing stories

Today's piece of stimuli uses the scale of the web and the power of rich media content to raise awareness about human rights cases and issues going on around the globe. It's called The Witness Hub, the global media platform for Human Rights and Action.

Binyam Mohamed - a former British resident who has been held in U.S. captivity without trial for almost seven years - was released today from the Guantanamo Bay military detention center and is now back in the UK. The below video is called "Outlawed". a film in which Mohamed's story is told from excerpts of a diary he kept whilst in detention. Tosee the video or take action, visit The Witness Hub.

The stories of these people, and anyone that matters to your cause can benefit from being heard and seen on the web. Visibility can raise awareness and engagement with the broader public or help to reduce stigma about a particular issue.

Some stories are suitable for video and audio, such as this one.
Some stories are intentionally anonymous and perhaps better left in written form.
For example, consider a blog/diary of the white collar heroin user. The power of that persons story in raising awareness to the public that heroin permeates all levels of society, reducing stigma around users and most importantly, increasing the self worth of the person who is telling their story.
Consider one more step. Connecting 9 to 5 heroin users in a social network supported and mediated by volunteer ex- users, surrounded by all the best information on safe and reduced usage.

Risky? Effective. Tell me your thoughts please.

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