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mtvU and Windows Live Messenger i’m Initiative Greenlight “Cause Effect” Spotlighting Standout Student Activists


New multiplatform series on mtvU and helps arm college students with digital tools for positive social change.

NEW YORK .— mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, teaming up with Microsoft Corp. through the Windows Live Messenger’s i’m Initiative, today premiered “Cause Effect,” a new multiplatform series profiling standout student activists on college campuses nationwide. Each episode spotlights two remarkable students, examining how they’ve used digital tools to effect positive, real-world change, and inspired others to take action and make a difference on pressing social issues such as poverty, child protection, disease, environmental degradation and animal rights.

“Cause Effect” premiered today on mtvU (broadcast to 750 colleges and universities nationwide), and, MTV’s new online community where young people can learn about, discuss and mobilize on the issues that most impact their generation. The “Cause Effect” section of enables students to check out every episode of the show on demand, connect with like-minded individuals on and off campus, access the digital tools profiled on the show, and take action to have a tangible effect on the causes they care about most.

The new mtvU series is an extension of the Windows Live Messenger i’m Initiative, in which Microsoft donates a portion of the program’s advertising revenue to one of several cause-related organizations every time a user has a conversation using the instant messaging software. The 10 organizations participating in the program are the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Humane Society of the United States, National AIDS Fund, National Multiple Sclerosis Society,, Sierra Club,, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and UNICEF. Microsoft joining forces with mtvU and takes the i’m Initiative well beyond the instant messaging window — stretching out online, on mtvU, to the heart of the campus quad and everywhere this generation’s best and brightest digital activists congregate.

“College students have long been catalysts for positive social change, and they’re once again leading the charge with a new arsenal of online tools,” said Stephen Friedman, general manager, mtvU. “By showcasing the innovative efforts of those spearheading the digital activism charge, mtvU and Microsoft aim to inspire and equip even more college students to mobilize on today’s most pressing issues.”

“College students are among some of the most active with instant messaging, and they have taken a special interest in the i’m Initiative,” said Tara Kriese, senior product manager, Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft. “These students are the new face of activism and change, and many are making a huge impact in their communities, both on and offline. We’re excited to be teaming up with mtvU to highlight the positive actions students are taking to enact change on all levels, to show individuals they can make a difference through technology and their everyday activities.”

Episode one of “Cause Effect,” featuring Nathan Jones of Oregon State University and Ashley Echavarria of Northern Arizona University, debuted today and can be seen at Four more episodes will be rolled out in the weeks ahead, spotlighting the efforts of other outstanding change agents from within the college audience. Those who want to learn more about the show or join in Windows Live Messenger’s i’m Initiative can visit


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