U.S. Marine makes intense anti-poverty plea

This nearly five-minute clip by newly formed humanitarian group Nuru International might be the most compelling PSA you'll see this year. It fuses animation and news footage with a story line provided by Jake Harriman, the group's founder and CEO. He's a U.S. Marines Special Ops veteran who saw combat in Iraq and took part in aid missions around the world. A shot of the burning towers on 9/11 shows up early, as Harriman makes the case that desperate people do desperate things, and that eliminating extreme poverty and hopelessness is key to fighting terrorism. That's not a new idea, but it resonates here, in part because the storytelling and pacing are so strong. But Harriman ultimately sells it. The guy's articulate but not slick, compassionate but no bleeding heart. By simply stating what he's experienced and felt, he transforms and elevates his plea from a purely emotional appeal to a credible call to action. In the war on despair, this former soldier's savvy use of media is a potent weapon.

—Posted by David Gianatasio