We invite you to read, enjoy, and learn from the electronic media submitted by Elon students to the 2013 Human Rights and Social Justice Writing Contest.
If you are an Elon student, we encourage you to join the conversation by submitting an entry to this and the other five categories.
Description: Donovan Zimmerman has traveled the world with not much more than a sketchbook to his name. Jan Burger has been arrested while wearing a giant bird costume and walking on stilts. Put the two together and you get Paperhand Puppet Intervention—North Carolina’s leading force for social activist puppeteers--located just twenty-five minutes away from Elon University in Saxapahaw, North Carolina. This dynamic duo in our own community is out to fight global injustices, using one paper mache puppet at a time.
Electronic Media Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdkGv946U84
After noticing that several of my peers often share incredible thoughts that sometimes go unnoticed on social media, I decided to start an Elon Awareness Blog to serve as a resource for those interested in active community dialogue and engagement. While the blog initially began as a tool to help promote the four awareness organizations in Elon Volunteers, Invisible Children, Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Sierra Club, it has spread beyond the programs to include all members of the Elon community.
On the blog, there are tabs to learn about the specific goals and tactics of each of the four awareness organizations. There is also a campus events tab for students to support the efforts of others, as well as an archives page for a full list of the posts.
I have been most encouraged by the statistics that I monitor on the blog (views in more than 31 countries) and the number of redirects, which shows curiosity has been sparked enough for my peers to seek more information.
When people ask to write a post, I do not request them to follow any guidelines. Instead, I ask, “What would you like to tell the campus?”
Electronic Media Link: http://elonawareness.com/
My submission tells the story of the Cambodian civil war and the ensuing Khmer Rouge rule of the country, following in particular the story of Sophala "Paul" Heng, a survivor of the war. The film asks if the situation in Cambodia can be truly considered a genocide, as it is referred to by some.
Electronic Media Link: https://vimeo.com/80869092
I created the website, "Desire for a Sustainable Future", for my English 110 class this past spring, during my Freshman year of college here at Elon University. A primary goal for taking English 110 is to develop an appreciation for and an understanding of writing’s capacity to change oneself and the world. In our “Paper 4” assignment, the class was asked to create a wish list of proposals regarding his/her personal hopes for future change on our planet. After analyzing each of my own wishes, I felt the most strongly about my hope for a more sustainable, and environmentally-friendly world. For “Paper 5”, I chose to use this wish to create a concrete, social action proposal for how it would be possible to actually implement such environmental change throughout society. Therefore, I used "Paper 6" to write a proposal letter to an individual who I believe has the power to bring about this desired change, through means of education. After much research, I came to the conclusion that climate change has and continues to cause much harm to humans. The increase of fossil fuel emissions is dangerous and detrimental to human health, and more people are needed for efforts to implement positive, social change regarding these issues today.
Electronic Media Link: https://elon.digication.com/desire_for_a_sustainable_future/Meet_the_Author/published
In this video for my Philosophy of education class, I explore some of the more interesting clips I've encountered over the years that have made me consider education in a new light, and mixed them in with a few of my own interjections. Social justice doesn't mean conditioning Americas youth to be obedient, our institutions should support a free and diverse population; our society should be one that encourages our innate individualities, and this in turn will enhance all qualities and aspects of our lives on an individual level, and a national one.
Electronic Media Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCSbSn6VItg&authuser=0
The attached digital and social media measurement plan outlines the campaign metrics and key performance indicators that DDB Worldwide Communications Group, Inc. could have utilized in their 2012 “Hashtag Killer” campaign for their nonprofit client, Water Is Life.
Capitalizing off of the popular #firstworldproblems hashtag, DDB developed a campaign to drive fundraising and awareness to Water Is Life’s mission to providing clean water for communities that have very real problems. The group hi-jacked the already-trending hashtag and released a series of videos of children in Haiti reading off some of the tweets that featured the hashtag. The juxtaposition of a pregnant woman in a rural village saying, “I hate it when my house is so big that it needs two Wi-Fi routers,” confirms the fact that “first world problems” are not real problems. The videos quickly went viral across the web, making it the number one non-profit social media campaign of 2013.
Our group developed this plan in an exercise to understand how nonprofit organizations can increase awareness, funding, and ultimately generate social change through cost-effective digital platforms.
Electronic Media Link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxyhfiCO_XQ
In this video, I explore the issue of child labor in the cocoa industry. The leading chocolate brands that dominate the industry, such as Hershey's or Nestle, look to areas in West Africa as a source for their cocoa beans, which are harvested by young children. These young children are treated like slaves and their human rights violated daily. Farmers rely on their cheap labor as a means for profit, as well as the chocolate companies, who purchase large quantities of their cocoa beans. The chocolate companies, in turn, rely on the farmers to supply them with cocoa beans. As we continue to demand inexpensive chocolate, these companies will continue getting their cocoa beans from the same farms that use child labor. If we demand chocolate that is Fair Trade certified, then companies that do not allow child labor will profit, leading to a decrease in the demand for cheap, unjust chocolate.
Electronic Media Link- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VsTxSL-xnk
You Are What You Eat: Aramark is a investigative documentary created by environmental activist, and Elon Senior Matthew Eastman. This documentary exposes Aramark and Elon's lack of commitment to the local food community. Last year, I showcased this documentary at local middle schools to teach the children the importance of eating local.
Electronic Media Link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YVBvrkSw6g