Vote for the Power of Words!

You may remember last year when YouTube premiered our animated video “The Power of Words” on its homepage with an introduction by actor, Morgan Freeman.

Vote for 'The Power of Words' in the DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards.

Vote for 'The Power of Words' in the DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards.

We’re pleased to announce that this video has been nominated in this year’s DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards!  We’ve got some stiff competition in the Best Innovation category, so please cast your votes for human rights before midnight EDT on April 7th.

Here’s how to vote:

Sign into your YouTube account (or if you don’t have one, it’s free and easy to create).  Then, on the Nonprofit Video Awards page, click on the “Vote” button and search for “Power of Words”.  To cast your vote, click the green ‘Thumbs Up’ icon below ‘The Power of Words’ video display.

Your support of human rights was our inspiration for this video. Help us ensure ‘The Power of Words’ comes out on top!  Share this video with your friends and ask them to vote too. Until the winners are announced, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed!

Get everyone on YouTube talking about human rights!

Today, we’re premiering our video homage to supporters who help spread human rights stories far and wide! YouTube is featuring our new, animated video “The Power of Words” on its homepage with an introduction by actor, Morgan Freeman.

The video demonstrates why the messages you send and the petitions you sign really matter.  It is your words that remind violators of human rights, in countries like Zimbabwe, China and Iran, that their actions are unacceptable and opposed by millions.

Check out the video and then help us get the word out about human rights by emailing 5 friends about it. We want everyone on YouTube talking about human rights!

How Rugby Built a New Nation in South Africa

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

As a general rule, Americans don’t play rugby.  We are too litigious of a nation to allow grown men to bash into each other without being covered head to toe in protective gear. (Consequently, rugby playing nations think American football is for pansies.) So when I lived in South Africa, it was determined by newly found friends the need to educate me in the finer points of the game. This, of course, occurred over many pints of beer as they screamed at the television. Maybe American football and rugby aren’t so different after all…

Anyway, part of my education concerned explaining the importance of the 1995 World Cup. In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected black African president of the Republic of South Africa. A new constitution was instituted. A new country was emerging. None of this was an easy transition, however-there was resentment, fear, anger, uncertainty, vengeance, forgiveness all wrapped up in confusing welter of emotion. But South Africa hosted the rugby World Cup that year and because of its host status automatically fielded a team in the competition. Despite long odds, South Africa won. This fragile, new State won the rugby World Cup!

Without fail, everyone who shared with me their version of this story-where they were and who they were with-had tears in their eyes or streaming down their face, despite ten intervening years, as they described the moment when Nelson Mandela walked on the field to present the trophy and the national anthem was played. People described entire bars standing on their chairs singing at the top of their lungs. One woman said she was jumping up and down on her bed and fell off, breaking her arm. Everyone stated that this was the moment South Africa became a new nation.

Invictus, the story of this defining moment, opens today in the US. This powerful film made me miss my friends in South Africa and the beauty of their stories about the promise of a new nation. It didn’t make me miss rugby. Despite all the beer and everyone’s best efforts, I just never really got into it.

Join Morgan Freeman to Bring Human Rights Work to Light

(Originally posted onYouTube Blog)

YouTube can be a powerful tool championing the rights of individuals and promoting free expression. This month, during International Human Rights Day, [YouTube is] partnering with Morgan Freeman and Amnesty International to encourage you to become advocates for equality and justice, through Video Volunteers.

Here’s how you can help. Create a video about the nonprofit of your choice working on a human rights issue that you care about — it could be genocide, human trafficking, refugee protection, gender equality or something else -and submit it to the Video Volunteers channel by December 21. Amnesty International and Freeman, who plays legendary crusader Nelson Mandela in the upcoming movie Invictus, will select three videos to appear on the YouTube homepage at the end of the month. Hear more from Morgan about the importance of taking up this cause:

This is your chance to help citizens around the world who often can’t help themselves and to bring the vital work of human rights organizations to light. Join Morgan Freeman to protect the rights of these individuals at

Written by Ramya Raghavan, YouTube’s Nonprofits & Activism Manager

Posted in USA