You may have noticed #HalfTheSky trending on Twitter lately. It's trending at #4 of the world wide trends as this is being written. So lets take a look at what #HalfTheSky is.
Half The Sky is a transmedia project by PBS, ITVS, Women and Girls Lead, Independent Lense, and CPB which involves an international 4 hour TV broadcast, a Facebook-hosted social action game, mobile games, two interactive websites, educational video modules with companion text, and an impact assessment plan. It's inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
The project addresses issues impacting women and by extension the rest of the world. It confronts oppression and the lack of opportunity faced by women across the world, which limits the economic impact half the population of the world has. The Half the Sky project focuses on fighting this oppression by granting women and girls health care, educational opportunities and economic empowerment. The goal is to fight sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender based violence and maternity mortality. A shocking fact, maternity mortality still effects 1 woman every 90 seconds across the globe.
The goal of #HalfTheSky is to make a lasting movement in the same method that KONT2012 did, using social media to create engagement and bring about change. The hashtag raises awareness, but individuals in real life can bring lasting change. For example, Mashable reports that highschool juniors, Caroline White and Anna Cate Peeples, are trying to raise $300k for a safe house for orphans. So far they have raised $30k for their goal, which is fantastic!
Celebrities and musicians have also gotten behind this campaign. Throughout the month of October there will be 30 days of Songs. Musicians including Annie Lenox, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, and more, have donated a song. Each day brings a new song. Other celebrities behind the movement include Hilary Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Susan Sarandon, Gloria Steinem and many more.
Where Can I Learn More?
You can learn more at the Half The Sky site which has videos, multimedia and information about how you can help. PBS will be airing Half the Sky for a week after it's initial screening, which was Oct 1st and 2nd. If you missed it, you can also watch it online here.
Will it be as big as KONY2012 was? Only time will tell. With enough engagement from passionate people across the world it is certainly possible. Ultimately, however, surpassing the virality of KONY2012 doesn't matter as much as helping women and girls across the world improve their lives. If you want to help, you can! Get involved and check out the Half the Sky site for more info. Half the Sky can be found on various social media sites:
Will you be getting involved? Do you think this is the way social and charitable campaigns will drive engagement and express their message from now on? Let us know in the comments!