DemLabs blog

The outrage from incidents shared on social media soon disappears. People are jaded and don't vote because the outcome doesn't improve their lives. How can social media outrage be used to build political power and mobilize voters?

Black Voters Matter increases the power of communities to determine their own future through effective voting. "In order for Black voters to matter, we must utilize authentic messaging which speaks to our issues, connects with our hopes and affirms our humanity", explained Cliff Albright, the co-founder of Black Voters Matter.

Cliff created this video to train partners to make their own videos highlighting issues that matter to their communities and encouraging people to vote. The training uses a free app (Lumen5) to combine content from social media and other sources.

Warning: This video contains disturbing scenes of brutality and foul language. Do not read further if this might offend you. 

How the video was created
Cliff chose police violence for the training, as this topic matters to the community and can be used to get out the vote. The volunteer team chose a video from social media that illustrated the topic. This was combined with graphics from Black Voters Matter and a specific call to action - VOTE!

Watch the actual Black Voters Matter video with sound (40 seconds)

Corporate media  and social media platforms live off advertising and skew towards topics that will get the most attention. They have little incentive to cover issues that concern communities. People share their concerns and grievances on social media, but it leads to little beyond short-lived outrage.

A means to convert the social media outrage into long term political capacity building is needed. Videos are highly effective, but they are typically time consuming and expensive to produce. Millions of video clips are posted daily on social media but they have neither background details nor a call-to-action.

Technology can be the equalizer. Lumen5 is a free app that includes thousands of royalty-free images, videos and soundtracks. These can be used to create new professional-looking videos complete with captions. It's fast, free and easy to use. It is ideal for cash-strapped organizers with little technical skills or free time. DemLabs and Black Voters Matter have created a free 15-minute tutorial on how to create campaign and advocacy videos.

Online training on using Lumen5 for advocacy videos (15 minutes)


The Upshot
Corporate media depends on advertising revenue and offers little coverage of issues that matter to thousands of communities.

Inspire people to get involved by connecting their concerns with their ability to bring about change by voting. The more direct and impactful the connection, the better.

Watch the tutorial and get your message heard with videos you create using Lumen5. Learn more about how to use free apps to mobilize voters here.


Co-Founder, DemLabs

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DemLabs applies innovative technology and storytelling tools in service of democratic values. It lowers the barrier of funding for worthy candidates and non-profits by applying existing free/affordable solutions.