The human rights organization Breakthrough has launched a contest called “I AM THIS LAND,” asking people to create videos saying what diversity means to them. Prizes include $2,500 in cash, Guitar Hero games and a one-day internship at SPIN Magazine. The contest launched with a slick website and a pair of videos from Sharon Jones of the Dap-Kings and Michael Urie from Ugly Betty.
To enter, all you need to do is make a video that includes the words “I am this land” and upload it here. Judges include the publisher of SPIN and the head of social responsibility at MTV.
The contest has been planned for several months, but serves as a timely reaction to well-publicized bullying incidents and the debate over the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.
User-generated video contests can be hit or miss, and seldom spur the sort of groundswells and viral frenzies that happen organically on YouTube all the time. But the message behind I AM THIS LAND is one that clearly has some momentum right now. Just look at the “It Gets Better” videos that celebs, the president and ordinary citizens have been making to console gay teenagers who are getting picked on. They’ve collectively been viewed over 2 million times.