Welcome to the Philanthropy Thursday, where we profile people, products, and organizations that showcase the best nature of humankind.
“Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today, at home and around the world.” – John F. Kennedy
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face — forever.” – George Orwell
“You know, the courts may not be working any more, but as long as everyone is videotaping everyone else, justice will be done.” – Matt Groening
See it. Film it. Change it.
Witness harnesses the power of new media and technology to expose human rights violations around the world. Witness donates video cameras (as well as providing training and support) to human rights organizations, allowing them the ability to capture human right abuses and share the experiences with the world. Video is an amazing tool against tyranny. Hearing about injustice is one thing, seeing evil documented on video is another. Seeing is believing.
Two events were the genesis of the creation of Witness. Musician Peter Gabriel’s travels with Amnesty International, where he filmed the survivors’ stories with a Sony Handycam; second the beating of Rodney King by the hands of the police, captured by a bystander with a video camera. Moving pictures move people to shock and outrage, the momentum can move them to action. Big Brother is watching. Guess what? So is the world. The world is watching. Now humanity has a weapon of their own. Video. The pen is mightier than the sword? A picture is worth a thousand words? A few minutes of shaky video can topple governments and effect change in the world.
Shine a light on the darkness. Be a Witness.