3 Ways to Power a Social Movement on YouTube

YouTube is an incredibly powerful tool, not only for aspiring musicians and comedy vloggers, but also for those who wish to power a social movement. One of the most effective ways to spread a progressive message is by sharing it on YouTube, and countless movements have been powered online.

Here are three ways to start/power any social movement on YouTube, exemplified by three online LGBT rights movements (in celebration of June being LGBT Pride month!)

1. Share videos of personal stories relating to your movement’s issue.

Reach out to your friends and your communities and ask them to tell their stories relating to the issue that your movement concerns. Dan Savage used this method when he created the “It Gets Better Project,” which is a movement aimed at preventing LGBT youth suicide.

When Savage started this movement, he created a video telling LGBT youth about his struggles growing up LGBT and assuring these kids that life does get better. The movement grew exponentially as more and more people began sharing their stories and videos, and now thousands of notable figures of all sexual orientations have shared their story, including Ellen Degeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, and US President Barack Obama.

Here is Neil Patrick Harris’ “It Gets Better” video.

2. Create a compilation video featuring every part of the movement.

A social movement has an infinite number of components, and a great way to demonstrate this is by creating a compilation video featuring footage from every aspect of the movement. When the US Supreme Court voted to legalize same-sex marriage in every state on June 26, 2015 (almost exactly a year ago!), YouTube created a compilation video celebrating the fight for LGBT rights.

This video, called #ProudToLove, features personal stories from LGBT people, coming-out videos, videos of politicians fighting for LGBT rights, LGBT weddings, and more. It is incredibly representative of every part of the movement, and it inspires viewers because it shows how much work has gone into the movement. Aspiring YouTubers and social activists can also use this video as inspiration for creating compilation videos for any issue they believe in!

3. Make a music video with a socially conscious message.

For all social activists who are also musicians, making a socially conscious music video is a great way to power your movement. Of course, music videos are naturally popular on YouTube, and communicating a social message in a song makes it much more accessible to your viewers. Collaborative music videos are also fantastic for social movements because a movement gains momentum when more people are involved.

A great example of a collaborative music video with a social message is Chris Thompson’s cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” (performed with many other YouTube stars). This video is in support of the Trevor Project, which is another movement dedicated to the prevention of LGBT youth suicide. This video shows aspiring YouTube social activists that a group music video can inspire millions and further a social movement.

Overall, aspiring social activists should know that YouTube is a great tool for spreading their social message of any kind and sparking social reform. By sharing videos of personal stories, creating compilation videos representing the issue’s components, and making socially conscious music videos, social activists can power their movement on YouTube.

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David Yaghutiel is a Bay Area native who enjoys traveling, theatre, playing the ukulele, and learning as much about the world as he possibly can. He also occasionally daylights as a senior at UCLA.

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