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:

Build with us on our California Training Roadshow

After an informative Listening Tour with nonprofits in Los Angeles, we are southbound on Highway 5 for our spring Training Roadshow! The first week of May, we will be joining nonprofits and grassroots organizers in LA for participatory workshops and technology skill shares.

We have a few community-driven events on our calendar:

Exploring Human Rights Documentation at RDF Manila

Documenting human rights violations depends on data. Photos of survivors. Recorded first hand accounts of atrocities. Emails and financial documents from the perpetrators. These materials are all data-driven, and this documentation is essential to the protection of human rights. But if this data is not handled carefully, it can compromise the safety of the people who create, collect, or use it.

Brainstorming the structure of a checklist for advising technology in low-tech situations

The Responsible Data Forum, held in Manila on March 21 and 22, 2015, brought together human rights defenders, technologists, and trainers from around the world to foster responsible data practices for human rights documentation. This was the eighth Responsible Data Forum held by the engine room, an organization that supports and investigates the use of technology and data in advocacy work.

In Manila, I joined small working groups to explore topics such as how to identify appropriate tools and best practices for verifying human rights documentation. I worked with an incredible group of people to explore the challenges of working in low technology environments. We designed our conversation to help funders and developers think through the question of, "Will it be productive to bring technology to a low tech situation?"

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