MTV BUILDS "BEYOND THE WALL" INSTALLATION IN NEW YORK ON IMMIGRATION, IDENTITY AND DIVERSITY IN AMERICA
35-Foot Interactive Video Wall in Herald Square Highlights Stories of
Artists, Activists and Young Americans on Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day
New York, NY, October 10, 2016 - MTV today unveiled "Beyond The Wall," a 10" foot x 35" foot interactive video installation in New York's Herald Square showcasing stories of artists, activists and young people on immigration, identity and diversity in America. "Beyond the Wall" features video testimonials from dozens of participants including Diane Guerrero ("Orange is the New Black," "Jane the Virgin"), Arturo Castro ("Broad City"), Amani Alkhat (MuslimGirl.net) and Cristela Alonzo ("Cristela") alongside real-time user submissions posted to social platforms using #BeyondTheWall. Visitors to "Beyond the Wall" are invited to interact with a touchscreen to 'break down the wall' brick by brick to unlock the human stories that reflect the inherent multiculturalism and diversity of the American experience.
"Young people are tired of politics as usual during the 2016 election and want real change on the issues they care about most," said Ronnie Cho, Vice President of Public Affairs at MTV. "This symbolic border wall installation is a powerful way for our audience to go beyond the rhetoric, beyond the talking points and beyond the wall, towards a more meaningful conversation about issues that are at the heart of this election cycle and are core to defining who we want to be as a country."
All videos are available via an interactive digital wall at http://GoBeyondTheWall.org where users can also share their own story and find ways to take real action on the issues, with a special emphasis on registering and voting in the 2016 election.
"Beyond The Wall" is a non-partisan collaboration of organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, Change.org, Define American, Emerson Collective, Immigration Equality, Muslim Advocates, National Congress of American Indians, National Council of La Raza, South Asian Americans Leading Together, Southern Poverty Law Center and Voto Latino. The installation is only available today which is observed as both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples' Day, a day when we are reminded that with exception of indigenous populations and those whose ancestors were brought to the U.S. enslaved, everyone in the United States has immigrant heritage.
"Define American is proud to partner with MTV on their ground-breaking #BeyondtheWall video installation in Herald Square," said Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder and CEO of Define American. "At Define American, we believe in the power of story to change hearts and minds, and there is no better way to humanize the issue of immigration than to have people telling their own personal stories, right to the camera. We hope that on this day, Indigenous Peoples' Day, we can all come together to remember this country's immigrant roots."
According to MTV Insights, young voters are closely watching this election and cite racial equality and immigration as key concerns. Many recognize the crucial roles that immigrants play in our country with 84 percent of Millennials agreeing that the US is a country of immigrants and 72 percent saying our country is stronger because of immigration. They believe the US should be doing more to help immigrants: 63 percent of Millennials agree the US should make it easier for undocumented immigrants to have a path to apply for citizenship and 71 percent agree the US should provide immigrants with more opportunities and job training. When it comes to a potential ban on immigrants or visitors who are Muslim, 77 percent of Millennials say that Muslims should not be discriminated against and 75 percent say we have to stand up to anti-Muslim hate. Millennials also support America accepting refugees with 62 percent agreeing that our country has a moral obligation to welcome refugees from war torn countries. For Millennials, discrimination in general is a problem they would like to solve, with 84 percent saying they or someone they know have experienced racial or ethnic discrimination and 78 percent saying schools should have an equality curriculum and teach kids how to speak out on discrimination.
"Beyond The Wall" is the latest initiative of MTV's Elect This campaign. Over two million actions have been taken via the campaign, which empowers Millennials to engage on the issues that matter to them during the 2016 election via on-air specials, digital tools and a robust web site at ElectThis.com. Elect This recently hosted the "Total Registration Live" special, which was the most successful voter registration drive on National Voter Registration Day, according to voter registration group HeadCount.
MTV is a global youth culture brand driven by the creative spirit of music. MTV is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA).