For World Refugee Day, the International Rescue Committee invited seven creators to get to know refugees around the world.
Each of the seven have created a video documenting their response to what they discovered. These include Tyler Oakley sharing the stories of LGBTQ+ refugees, as well as Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown of AsapSCIENCE explaining how refugee camps are built. The videos all form part of YouTube’s #MoreThanARefugee campaign.
It is always good when YouTube uses its immense power for good and shines a light on an issue that demands our attention. One video that stood out for us was Suli Breaks’s offering, What Refugees Really Want.
The spoken word artist uses his way with words to articulate the differences between his relatively cushy life and the struggles of the man he spoke with.
In his piece to camera, Suli speaks about the man, who had lived in a refugee camp since he was four years old. He tells us that he speaks four languages, and makes sure to explain to the audience that he has not come to take their jobs, he has just moved for an opportunity.
There is always a significant elephant in the YouTube room: the comment section. It’s never something that is routinely filled with love and positivity, but this video (and the whole #MoreThanARefugee movement from YouTube) has caused a significant spike in hate comments and trolling. It’s so bad that calling them “keyboard warriors” seems too positive a name, so they are hereby christened keyboard cowards.
The reaction to the video has been more positive in other places, however:
Ignore the uneducated and carry on doing amazing things!
— Luke (@fairlukey) June 20, 2017
This video is beautiful and eloquent. Something we need much more of. I can't believe this reaction 😞
— Zeph In Space (@ZephyrNouveau) June 21, 2017
yea….you have started a good fight. you will win. Be strong and keep pushing good vibes.
— Daniel Oberko (@danieloberko) June 20, 2017
Suli’s response – “I STILL have faith in humanity and the next generation” – speaks to his character in big way.
Take a look at YouTube’s #MoreThanARefugee series for videos from the other creators involved in the campaign.
This is important.