The Chain of Change project was a youth response to the Chicago Foundation for Women's "What Will It Take" campaign, which focused on how to make Illinois the safest state for women & girls. Beyondmedia equipped young people across the state with Flip video cameras to create short videos on the topic to be published online. The website was run by a youth leadership council that wrote for the website and managed its contents.
Beyondmedia needed a web platform to house the media created by the campaign. I developed a custom solution using Expression Engine.
I incorporated a global Google Map to visualize the scope of the project that linked to each organizations profile page.
The website featured a YouTube style video section featuring this footage, and sortable by topic so viewers could discover other perspectives. I trained a diverse leadership council to use the CMS system and maintain the website ensuring it was peer-driven and run.
"A lot of times in society we underestimate the actual need to be heard. We underestimate the fact that someone's own personal story can actually touch another human's heart."
Beyondmedia hosted numerous in-person workshops around Chicago for the project. We distributed paper surveys and created an online version so people could share their experiences online.
I visualized this data using Wufoo forms after procuring a significant non-profit discount for the organization to use across all of it's websites.
"While it's on one hand about voice, it's also about much more because it's about real inquiry."
Beyondmedia sold bracelets on the site to raise awareness about the campaign. Each bracelet purchased generated a "receipt" that the wearer would fill out including their name if provided, neighborhood, and a message about how violence has impacted their lives. These were wrapped around Columbia College as part of a public art installation and were later incorporated on the website.
"I have dug hungrily into my role as an advocate for anti-violence. Chain of Change provides a rare environment where I can break my mold and let myself become, quite frankly, an activist without any red tape around my ideas and my thoughts."