In order to truly be a tool for liberation, video advocacy for immigrants’ rights must be ethical. This includes centering the voices and priorities of impacted communities, taking the necessary steps to protect people from the risks that come with increased visibility, and being careful with the words and images used to convey your message. All too often, well-meaning advocates rely on damaging tropes that establish conventions of “deservingness” or an “exceptional immigrant” narrative, commodify immigrants’ place in our country, or erase histories of enslavement and indigenous genocide in painting the U.S. as “a nation of immigrants.” Many mainstream narratives also fail to encompass a diversity of immigrant stories, often leaving the stories of trans, disabled, elderly, or Black immigrants in the shadows.
To demonstrate what ethical narratives can look like, we’ve collected examples of videos that illustrate responsible, community-centered, and effective storytelling for immigrants rights. It’s important to note that most of these videos were made as part of broader campaigns or were interwoven into additional legal or advocacy strategies.