Breakthrough

Figuring out how to use social media effectively is one of the biggest challenges that nonprofits face today. Sometimes it’s even tricky to point to specific successful examples of how organizations have integrated social media into their overall programmatic strategies.

Well, look no further than the organization Breakthrough, an international human rights organization based in New York and India that uses education and popular culture to promote values of dignity, equality and justice. Earlier this year, Breakthrough announced the launch of a new video game called I Can End Deportation (“ICED”). ICED is a great example of how innovation and technology can further a social cause. This game puts you in the shoes of an immigrant to illustrate how unfair immigration laws deny due process and violate human rights. These laws affect all immigrants: legal residents, those feeling persecution, students and undocumented people. The object of the game is to become a citizen of the United States. It’s been played over 100,000 times since its launch in February.

After playing it for a minute or two, you realize that the game itself is really a platform for a larger discussion. There are a lot of additional resources available, including the ICED Curriculum, the ICED Game Discussion Guide.

ICED has been featured in overwhelming amounts of press including: MTV News, Game Daily and has been covered on popular blogs. To read Mallika Dutt’s piece in The Huffington Post about immigration and the release of ICED, click here. Notable is the attention the game gets from social networking sights like MySpace, YouTube and Facebook.

The message of the game is clear: When we let government deny due process and human rights for some people, we put the freedom of everyone at risk.