New Media Advocacy Project

The New Media Advocacy Project (N-Map) combines legal expertise with cutting edge communication tools to strengthen human rights and social justice work.  We help advocates throughout the world tell their stories in more compelling and powerful ways—to tip the balance in the toughest cases and campaigns.

Human rights advocates and social entrepreneurs face enormous challenges:  deeply entrenched social issues, over-resourced opponents and competitors, as well as hostile or risk-averse courts, legislatures, and funders.  This equation means the usual tools are not enough.  N-Map uses advocates' greatest tool—their stories—to help meet those challenges. Our innovative mix of legal and media knowledge helps to bring those stories to life, and to use them effectively in courtrooms, legislatures, and communities.

 

See some recent examples of our work below, and contact us to learn more about what we do.

Giving Brooklyn’s Low-Income Individuals a Chance in Court

The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund is an innovative remedy to the broken bail system in New York. The fund posts bail for misdemeanor defendants they are confident will return to court so defendants have the opportunity to fight their case, assist with their defense, and avoid pleading guilty just to go home. N-Map worked with the Bail Fund to vividly show the human cost of New York’s broken bail system. Avoiding an overly technical explanation, our video aims to illustrate through powerful first person stories that we have two justice systems in New York: one for those with means and one for the poor.

Water at the Foot of the Volcano

The watershed of the Amecameca and La Compañía rivers spans a region covering 11 municipalities of the State of Mexico. About 40% of Mexico City’s water comes from this very basin; however, overuse and mismanagement inflicted drastic effects on the environment and its inhabitants: from desertification and pollution to sinkholes and water shortages. 

Thankfully, there is a strategy to promote sustainability in this area: the Plan Hídrico. Developed by scientists, academics, and community members, the Plan Hídrico advises for sustainable solutions like building filtration wells to prevent further water loss and protecting forest areas to retain water. This film—produced in partnership with Controla Tu Gobierno and the Comisión—plans to translate the Plan Hídrico into political change. Our partners will use the video as an advocacy tool to encourage their communities and policy makers to adopt the Plan.

Navigating Consumer Debt Court

    Consumer debt lawsuits present enormous due process challenges for New York City’s civil courts. In 2008, debt collection agencies filed over 300,000 lawsuits and although filings decreased in recent years, the annual caseload still remains in the six-figure range. Low-income individuals make up the majority of these defendants and few can afford lawyers—in fact, only two percent retain legal counsel. Since most defendants enter the courtroom alone and uninformed, usually one obstacle prevents pro-se litigants from protecting their rights: knowledge.
    To increase the accessibility of legal information we created a series of interactive, rights-education videos to help New Yorkers sued for consumer debt. The example here—one of eleven videos—teaches defendants how to file an answer; normally, a convoluted set of instructions. Yet engaging animation helped us translate the dense legal information surrounding consumer law into a series of digestible, modular videos—increasing pro-se litigants’ ability to access legal information and consequently justice.