Project Witness

Virtual Reality Project – Children in Solitary Confinement

“We were in the land of the living dead and no one cared.” – Xavier McElrath-Bey

Project Witness is a YouTube and Google initiative to demonstrate how technology can create deeper, more multi-layered storytelling and combine platform and experience (VR, Lens, Pixel) to advance awareness on the human costs of mass incarceration of children. The project was created by Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, Google, YouTube Social Impact, and Black Dot Films in partnership with advocates and solitary survivors Alyssa Beck, Laura Berry, Jarrett Harper, Hernán Carvente Martinez, Xavier McElrath-Bey, Johnny Perez.

The goal of the project is to empower Google’s NGO partners to create a dialogue and desire to advocate for improved conditions of confinement for children and abolition of youth prisons, and various other advocacy efforts concerning the incarceration of children.

Project Witness is designed to empower Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth and other nonprofit partners to:

  • Employ Virtual Reality (VR) to launch the narrative and create a VR piece to anchor the viewer in the experience of an incarcerated child in solitary confinement. YouTube is a powerful platform for more than entertainment, and VR is a unique format that can pull the viewer into the story.
  • Leverage Pixel & AR technologies for breakout, trans-media narratives for deeper storytelling, to increase engagement and bring human experiences to life in Google & YouTube pop up spaces.
  • Bring this to life via their YouTube channel, website, conferences, and events.

Instructions and guidance on how to view Project Witness in 3D

For more information on using Project Witness as an advocacy tool, contact the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth.