javier's blog

Communications through a community organizing lens

Session: How to do Online Communications as an Organizer At Aspiration, we strive to apply community organizing principles to all the work we do. In practice, this means the principles that guide our greater mission should be embedded into internal organizational processes. For example: how does one approach website design or event facilitation with a frame of inclusion and collaboration? In the case of online communications: how can the principles that guide face-to-face organizing be applied to the digital realm?

At the Allied Media Conference in June, we were given space to host a workshop that explored these ideas. Titled "How to do Online Communications as an Organizer", this session asked participants to think about how their on-the-ground experiences could be applied to communications tactics. We shared some planning templates (Publishing Matrix!) in the process, but ultimately, participants led the exploration and found their own ways to apply their knowledge.

Beatrice onboard as Human Rights Technology Lead

Visit Beatrice's personal site

We are excited to introduce Beatrice Martini, our new team member and Human Rights Technology Lead. Originally from Italy, Beatrice now lives in Berlin, Germany and will work from overseas to drive capacity building efforts with human rights-oriented NGOs from around the world.

We are looking forward to having her at the helm of this multi-dimensional program, which will involve articulating technology practices, facilitating digital security literacy, and the pursuit of a shared language among stakeholders in the human rights technology ecosystem.

CA Roadshow: Building strategies for technology use

Social Justice Tech Skillshare mind-mapping

After a week on the road, JC and I are back from this year's first California Training Roadshow. We ventured from the Bay to Bakersfield, then continued on to Los Angeles where we met Misty and hosted two interactive events with local nonprofits and organizers.

To kick things off, fifteen people joined us on May 6th for the Social Justice Technology Skillshare. We started the day by creating a mind-map of what topics to address and questions to answer. An interesting distribution of topics emerged compared to previous years.

Beyond broadcast in communications for organizers

Notes from communications session at SjTech Skillshare

In early May, a few of us ventured down to Los Angeles to host a Social Justice Technology Skillshare. In one of the sessions, we explored what people learned while doing communications in service of community organizing efforts.

We invited people to gather around a big piece of blank paper and populate it with their tips, challenges, and ambitions in applying online communications to on-the-ground efforts. The question that guided the conversation was:

    How can online communications move beyond one-way broadcasting, and instead support conversations and relationship-building in service of organizing efforts?

Reframing response at the Humanitarian Tech Festival

The Humanitarian Technology Festival on May 9 and 10 is Aspiration's first foray of participatory event methodologies into the digital response space. We hope that this event supports creative dialogues and capacity building in humanitarian aid and disaster response efforts. In a recent blog on Civic Media, Willow explains the framing of this program and event:

"The very way we deliver aid perpetuates the need for more aid... When people need lodging after a hurricane, they're either told to evacuate and/or they're put into temporary homes, away from neighbors and family. There is little impetus to return and rebuild both social and tangible structures. People are uprooted, and must start from scratch. When, instead, we see that people don't just need lodging but in fact need social fabric, responders (and the technologies used for response) can focus on how to maintain family and neighborhood ties."

Heading to the Allied Media Conference in Detroit

Allied Media Conference 2015

Nothing signals summer like the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, happening June 18-21! The AMC convenes thousands of people doing transformative work at the intersections of media and communications, art, technology, and social justice.

We are excited to be a part of the workshops, dialogues, and emergent festivities of the 2015 AMC. Misty and I are looking forward to collaborating with Beatrice Martini, Jack from Palante Tech, and many others.

We are planning to host three sessions:

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