The National Urban League is celebrating their Centennial this year and apart of that celebration their I Am Empowered campaign and social mobilization platform is sure to make a big splash. It launched today so you still have enough time to be one of the first to check it out. You probably remember when we wrote about civil rights organizations just starting to adopt social media, it wasn’t long ago…August 2009 to be exact. Well the Urban League has taken the concept of social media and what it means for their cause and has expanded it at mach speed. Just 7 months later they’ve launched their social mobilization platform to include integration into social networks and even mobile devices; iPhone and Andriod aren’t strangers here and roll out along side the web platform today.
What’s really interesting is how quickly this all came to be. You may remember how accepting of digital media NUL’s CEO Marc Morial was last summer when we interviewed him. Even Chief Innovation Officer Patrick Gusman hinted at a complete shift in the way the NUL plans to solve problems this year when we interviewed him late last year. It’s sad to say that not many people get in, there are still some in the Media realm that don’t get it so it is very much surprising and encouraging to see a civil rights organization jump all over the opportunities that exist for minorities in new media. And do it well to boot. Morial had this to say about how the organization is staying nimble regardless of its age:
“The National Urban League may be 100 years old but we don’t have any gray hair. We are more energetic, more focused and more determined than ever before to create a level playing field in our nation, especially as minorities are disproportionately suffering from the effects of a battered economy. The I Am Empowered initiative not only strives to galvanize a nation to serve others, but positions the National Urban League in the right place to connect with more people and to serve urban communities better in the 21st century and beyond.”
The platform essentially allows you to consume content (written and video) however what’s more impressive is how you are able to measure your Social Impact. You simply complete tasks/actions and you can earn points. The more points the more of a social impact you have. Right now some of the tasks include recruiting others to your network on the platform, connecting your account to Facebook, and RSVPing to NUL Events. This is obviously all at launch so the real impact will be when people start to use it from their mobile devices and these tasks/actions start to become location based. I smell a trend, and it smells like a location based social change movement. That said it makes all the sense in the world why they’d roll out with both an iPhone app and an Andriod App. I am personally interested in seeing how this message will continue to spread, particularly with the tendency of civil rights movements of any era being bottom up rather than top down similar to social and new media.