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Videos Provide Inspiration & Good Advice

Videos for voting activistsVideos can give voice to our values and hopes. They can help focus our emotions to motivate our work. Videos offer powerful stories of heroes, of role models, of success against the odds, stories of the formerly powerless prevailing over the once overpowering. David beats Goliath stories motivate the hell out of the Davids of this world, and we're all Davids now.

Videos are a valuable organizing tool. We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time. Because activists have to recruit volunteers in large numbers, videos that add inspiring and motivating messages to meetings, to websites, to Facebook pages and to other social media can boost the motivation and morale of everyone involved, helping them work harder and do more.

We have tried to select videos for useful content and a positive viewer response (using number of views as an indicator). Programs can be useful because of their ability to inspire and motivate, or they may be useful because they provide practical how-to information that can help activists be more effective, or they may be useful because they place the work of voting activists inside the bigger picture of the pro-democracy movement.

How the New Generation of Latinx Voters Could Change US Elections. TED Talk by Maria Teresa Kumar. Kumar is the President and CEO of Voto Latino, the country's leading Latinx voter registration and advocacy organization. It reaches an audience of 20 million people on social media, has registered one million voters since its inception, and mobilized 3.7 million voters in 2020. Watch >>
Nov 2020, 10 Minutes, 1.4 million Views

Increasing Voter Turnout. Interview with Debra Cleaver, founder and CEO of Vote.org. This C-SPAN edition of the Washington Journal features Cleaver discussing efforts to increase voter turnout by focusing efforts on low-propensity voters, young people, and people of color. Watch >>
Nov 2018, 25 Minutes, 750 Views

Three Questions To Ask Yourself About Everything You Do. TED Talk by Stacy Abrams. This small slice of Abrams' life story is told to illustrate the basic principles that keep her going, at the core of which is to never give up, to never stop fighting for what you know is justice. A former Georgia House Democratic Leader, Abrams made history in 2018 when she became the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia. She has an inspiring story and an empowering message. Watch >>
Dec 2018, 12 minutes, 6.8 million Views

How to Increase Young Voter Turnout by 50 Percent. TEDx Talk by Daniel Regan. Regan describes how a group of young professionals in Oklahoma led a get-out-the-vote drive that overcame apathy and voting barriers to increase young voter turnout by 50 percent. Learn how other communities can do the same. Watch >>
May 2017, 10 Minutes, 10K Views

The Power of the Youth Vote. TEDx Talk by Mindy Romero. Romero, the founder and director of the Center for Inclusive Democracy (CID), explains why it is important to vote and why people who don't vote are missing an opportunity to shape their futures. Watch >>
May 2016, 15 Minutes, 82K Views

There's No Such Thing As Not Voting. TED Talk by Eric Liu. Liu describes a U.S. history in which voting used to be celebrated and joyful. He describes his "Joy of Voting" project, and ends with a powerful analysis of why anyone eligible should show up and vote. Watch >>
2016, 13 minutes, 1.1 million Views

What's Needed to Bring the US Voting System Into the 21st Century. TED Talk by Tiana Epps-Johnson. As director of the Center for Technology and Civic Life, she leads a team that focuses on modernizing the ways election officials communicate with voters and administer elections. Epps-Johnson shares what's needed to make voting more modern, inclusive and secure - and to get every person to the polls. Watch >>
Nov 2018, 12 minutes, 1.6 million Views

How to Increase Voter Turnout. TEDx Talk by Jenn Brown. Brown asks if we could make celebrating and participating in election day as fun and ubiquitous as Independence Day. Could that increase turnout? Watch >>
February 2019, 15 Minutes, 45K Views

Immigrant Voices Make Democracy Stronger. TED Talk by Sayu Bhojwani. As Founder and President of The New American Leaders Project, Bhojwani explains the many benefits of electing leaders who embrace and reflect our country's diversity. A democracy that works to embrace diversity will be stronger and more resilient. Watch >>
Sept 2016, 12 Minutes, 1.1 million Views

How To Revive Your Belief In Democracy. TED Talk by Eric Liu. As CEO of Citizen University, Liu shares a powerful way to rekindle the spirit of citizenship and the belief that democracy still works. He explains how making civic engagement a weekly habit can help build communities based on shared values and a path to belonging. Watch >>
April 2019, 14 Minutes, 2 million Views

Why Ordinary People Need to Understand Power. TED Talk by Eric Liu. Americans are too often illiterate in power – what it is, how it operates and why some people have it. As a result, those who do understand power wield disproportionate influence. If we're going to fix this, "we need to make civics sexy again," Liu explains. Watch >>
Sept 2013, 17 Minutes, 2.4 million Views

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Published: August 2019
Revised: July 2023

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