We celebrate the 48th anniversary this year of Martin Luther King's Aug. 28, 1963 speech about his dream for America, delivered to hundreds of thousands on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Four years prior to that speech, on April 18, 1959, King had argued to the Youth March for integrated schools that committing "yourself to the noble struggle for human rights" makes you "a greater person yourself" and makes "your country" a "greater nation" and "your world ... finer."
King was not the first to speak of human rights to Americans, although he was perhaps the most compelling. Fifteen years prior to his "I have a dream" speech, global leaders, including Eleanor Roosevelt, gathered at the United Nations in New York to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which called for equal rights for citizens around the world. In 1948, it was adopted by the majority of U.N. member states.
Today, in the 21st century, King's dream and the UDHR's articles of human rights are still only partially met here at home in the "land of the free" and around the world.
But perhaps a step we can take to come closer to fulfilling the hopes for equal rights is to think more positively about the value of diversity. In this nation, the United States of America, we are all immigrants. That fact has made us stronger as a nation, both historically and still today. People of all races, cultures, nationalities and religions come to our country for our ideals -- ideals that are embedded in King's dream and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Today, as much as 48 years ago, we need to promote diversity, because in the "global village" that we live in, our differences are what we have in common.
Talking about social justice issues through the medium of animated video allows me to communicate across all kinds of divides, in ways that traditional reporting and photography do not. Teenagers of my age, or adults who have little interest in politics, may not be willing to sit down and read a serious story or watch a depressing slide show, but they may be drawn to watch an animated piece. People relate well to animation because when they think of cartoons, they have pleasant recollections of them. Animation is fun; it's vivid, it's playful.
Animated videos about social justice are like political cartoons: they trigger the imagination of those who watch them. Viewers are intrigued because they don't know where the drawing is going to go, because the artist is not constricted by real-world limitations. That brings the viewers into the story... and it is my hope that that makes the "message" of an animated video especially compelling.
To draw the scenes of this video I used the iPad Brushes application. Importing the drawing into my computer, I used the app's replay functionality and edited it using Apple's iMovie and Final Cut Pro X.
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