Jubilee’s Humanity

Gail Harper
abharper@lc.edu

 

Goodhumans. That’s what the staff of media company Jubilee calls their followers and subscribers. Jubilee runs a YouTube channel founded 10 years ago by founder Jason Lee, who originally started “The Jubilee Project” with a goal of raising $100 for Haitian children. Now the channel has over four million subscribers and is rapidly growing.

What you will find on the about section of Jubilee’s channel is the simple statement, “We believe in the power of empathy for human good.” This truly encapsulates what Jubilee is all about, and you’ll find that theme to be the central idea for all of their videos.

One of their most popular series is Spectrum, where multiple people from a usually marginalized group are gathered to discuss their differences and similarities. Some of the episodes (usually titled “Do All {group} Think the Same?”) include people from the following groups: disabled people, strippers, suicide survivors, teen moms, black people, Muslims, Latinos, ex-criminals, and transgender people. In these episodes, questions are asked of the five or six group representatives, usually relating to stereotypes and tricky subjects about or within their group.

A recent episode of Spectrum titled “Do All People With HIV Think The Same?” included the prompt “Being HIV+ is a death sentence.” Five of the six individuals went directly to the “strongly disagree” line, but one stayed on the “disagree” line. He brought up the fact that some HIV+ people don’t have the right resources and some even face deadly persecution for their diagnosis. People featured on Spectrum always bring up issues that one may not think about regarding a specific issue, and this is great because it gets people thinking about their beliefs and how the world really is.

Another popular series on the Jubilee channel is called Middle Ground. Unlike Spectrum, Middle Ground features people from two usually opposing groups and challenges them to see where they really aren’t that different from each other. Middle ground episodes include pro-choice vs pro-life, men and women, pro-wall vs undocumented immigrants, pro-vaccine vs anti-vaccine, Christians vs LGBTQ+, and socialists and capitalists. This series is extremely eye-opening, exemplifying that even though you might be in opposition to someone else, you may not be as different as you may think—and when you are, that doesn’t stop you from coming together on common ground.

Other Jubilee series worth mentioning include Odd Man Out, Versus 1, Tea for Two, and Seeking Secrets. These series are recommended because they all have the potential to remind us to be better to one another. Jubilee reminds us that a little empathy can go a long way, and kindness is the best tool to combat hate.

While Jubilee started as a tiny, tiny video by one man to raise money for Haiti, the channel has grown into a heartwarming example of the truest fact that should remain with us all—we are all humans. So, as you live your life as a human, be a good one.

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