Social Justice 101

We came up with the idea for our project because, as people who regularly consume media and browse around the Internet, we saw a lot of issues with the ways in which people were interpreting different terms and ideas attached to social justice. Due to this, we thought that it would be a good idea to start some sort of podcast or video series to help clear up these issues and explain things at a fairly basic and understandable level.  We finally ended up deciding on creating Youtube videos, which you can check out here with the purpose of explaining social just terms and ideas and why some of the understanding of those terms in the public were skewed. Understand that both of us had never made videos before and weren’t fully aware of all the work that would need to go into making fairly short videos.  We decided to contact a few people we knew, but didn’t know that well, that had some experience with video making.  Initially a couple people seemed interested but eventually stopped answering messages or showing any real interest in helping us, so we decided to create all the videos on our own.  The first video we filmed was actually fairly easy to deal with because it didn’t take much footage or editing and was a very small file.  Unfortunately, the other videos we ended up finishing in this time period were more difficult to deal with.  The simple process of sharing the videos from one device to another so that we could edit ended up being a problem by itself because the video files were so large and most ways that people share files on a regular basis cannot handle large video files.  This along with other issues made it difficult for us to produce and be able to upload the quantity of videos we wanted to produce.  I do believe that with more practice, we will get better at this, but for the time-being, we will be struggling through it.  Even with all this, and the fact that very few people have even found our channel yet, I see what we have done as an accomplishment.  We were able to produce educational videos that will be on the Internet forever.  Any person trying to find videos on the social justice topics we cover has a chance of finding our videos and taking something away from it.  Even though we have not received viewers yet, that does not mean that it will not happen.  Forever is a long time, and there is a lot of learning that needs to be done.

I think if we had to do this over again, we would create a podcast series instead of a Youtube series.  Youtube is a fantastic outlet, but video making was way out of the scope of our abilities, and we did not realize how much work would need to go into it.  In addition to that, Morgan from our group is camera shy, which we did not realize until we started filming, and was not able to appear in the video series.  On the other hand, this created a good system where Jimmy would produce the majority of the scripts and do the filming, and Morgan would give feedback and edit the videos.  One interesting aspect that also posed a bit of a problem for us was trying to find spaces where we could make videos.  We needed to find somewhere that was quiet, and bright enough so that our videos seemed to be of at least decent quality.  Initially we were using study rooms in the university library.  Unfortunately for our last video, we had to film in Morgan’s room because the study room we were assigned was very noisy due to fans and vents.  This posed a problem because Morgan happens to have very loud roommates.  Looking back though I can’t really think of any way this could have been avoided since we have limited options.

Prior to this, neither of us had done anything major that we would have considered activism.  What was interesting in actually getting involved in our activist project was that the most difficult parts weren’t even related to the activism itself.  The hardest part was simply logistics.  Finding somewhere to film, editing, trying to figure out how to transfer files, filming, script writing, etc. were all difficult, and the activism itself doesn’t start until we hit that upload button. Activism to us now, at least for this type of thing, looks more like creating something for the purpose of presenting it to the public.  All the effort really goes into that creation so that others can consume what you have created and hopefully make a change.

Activism definitely is not easy.  It is logistics, emails, video editing, and anything else that needs to go into what it is you are doing.

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