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, communities, and the public.
See some recent examples of our work below, and contact us to learn more about what we do.
In 1963, the Supreme Court, in Gideon v Wainwright, ruled that every criminal defendant is entitled to a lawyer. 50 years later, the United States has not lived up to the great promise of the Gideon case. Although there are many dedicated, talented, and tireless defense lawyers working heroically in challenging conditions, the overall system has failed profoundly to provide adequate counsel for many defendants.
N-Map produced this short documentary for our wonderful client, the Constitution Project, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gideon and to illuminate the current state of public defender systems. The goal of the piece is to commemorate Gideon’s case, and show the long road ahead in fixing our broken criminal justice system. The film had its first screening at the Department of Justice, introduced by Attorney General Eric Holder, and will be screened at numerous venues around the country.
N-Map and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) co-produced two videos to advocate for reopening cases related to crimes committed under the military dictatorship in Uruguay (1973- 1985) and bring truth and justice for families of the disappeared, as well as victims of torture and rape.
This video, called Breaking Down the Wall of Impunity, is an 11-minute piece which provides an analysis of the existing barriers to truth and justice in Uruguay. It includes interviews with leading politicians, academics, journalists, family members and victims themselves.
These videos hope to encourage the entire nation to confront its past for the possibility of a better future.
Billions of women around the world are still fighting for equal rights. Women’s Link Worldwide’s Gender Justice Uncovered Awards highlights the fact that in every country, regardless of its political system, culture or religion, what judges say has a tremendous influence on the day-to-day lives of people. Whether focused on reproductive rights, gender violence or discrimination, the Awards raise awareness about the influence court decisions have on women and their families and communities, and enable average citizens to help in promoting human rights.
In 2013, N-Map produced a short video to promote the Awards using animated storytelling to expose the importance of judicial decisions, and to encourage discussion and public participation in nominating and voting on cases. The Gender Justice Uncovered Awards tells every court, in every country, that we are watching.
The Republic of Georgia has just renovated large sections of its glorious and ancient capital city, Tbilisi. However, it failed to make any of the newly reconstructed neighborhoods wheelchair accessible. A dynamic group of people with spinal injuries has organized to fight for accessibility throughout Georgia. This video launched a campaign on public transportation in Tbilisi.
Enterprise Green Communities launched a campaign to make all affordable housing in the country comply with their Green Criteria by 2020. However, many housing developers, as well as the public, had the mistaken belief that green housing was a luxury for high-income people, not something appropriate for the affordable housing sector.
We created two videos – one for a professional audience of developers, and one for the general public – to tell inspirations stories about how green housing impacts low-income people, by reducing utility bills, improve asthma symptoms, creating crime free communities, and more. This is the video designed for the professional audience of developers, to empower them to be bold and innovative in their projects.
Over 25,000 Sikhs were disappeared by the Indian government during the 1980s and 1990s, but not a single perpetrator has been held accountable. Ensaaf is documenting every single case of disappearance, and drafting a report that covers every story. However, the report will be voluminous, technical, and unlikely to be read by many people beyond the human rights community.
N-Map worked with Ensaaf’s local staff in Punjab to create videos featuring character-driven stories to bring the report to life. N-Map also trained Ensaaf’s field researchers to shoot high quality video so that they could visually document the strongest cases. When the report is released, Ensaaf will have a powerful audiovisual record of the data in the report.
This video, the main piece we produced for Ensaaf, was designed for legislative and public advocacy within India. It focuses on older people lamenting the loss of their children and grandchildren, a message that challenges the prevailing idea that the victims of violence and murders during the Sikh uprising were themselves violent.
John Thompson is an innocent man who spent 14 years on death row. Thompson was exonerated just days before his scheduled execution, when evidence of his innocence emerged – evidence that had been hidden by prosecutors during his trial. After his release, he sued his prosecutors for violating his constitutional rights by suppressing evidence of his innocence. The Jury awarded him $14 million – $1 million for every year he spent on death row. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment twice, but it was reversed in 2011 by a 5-4 decision of the United States Supreme Court.
N-Map is helping Thompson and his partners at the Innocence Project launch an advocacy campaign to improve accountability for prosecutors who violate the constitutional rights of defendants. This video is the first in the campaign, and focuses on Thompson’s story.
The Tule River Tribe of California had its water—from the river that is the tribe’s namesake—stolen from it a hundred years ago. A group of downstream farmers and ranchers, along with government conspirators, negotiated away the Tribe’s rights to the water without the tribe in the room. Even now, a century later, the tribe’s struggle to secure its rights to sufficient water continues.
We produced this video to help them advocate for the restoration of their water rights locally, in the central valley of California, in Sacramento, and in Washington DC.