Social Media Gets A Holiday – Sorta!

No, you can’t take a (paid) day off.

Honoring social media doesn’t warrant its own national holiday – yet. Well..how about a mention…and a cause for celebration?

All across the land skeptics, newbies and power-users alike will come together to acknowledge the impact of social media, social networking and the like. For where would we be without our online communities?

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How People Are Responding To The Oil Spill Is A Good Barometer For The State Of The Nation

That response – along with the condition of this country – is entirely up for grabs right now.

I’m certain the blogging audience has heard about the life threatening damage this latest oil spill from British Petroleum is causing. I’ve been reading reports, sickened by the photos of the harmed animals and watched interviews of those immediately impacted by the millions of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf.

Depending on where you live in the world “accidents” like this are inevitable when faulty equipment is used and safety precautions  are tested past their breaking point. Nigeria has had this type of damage every year for decades now. Of course companies can only do what governments allow them to get away with.

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Drag Queens, Trannies & Misogyny Oh My!

 It’s been a while since I’ve written an LGBTQI-related post. Since I’m not directly part of that community and am always mindful of appropriation I will usually only write something when I think it will be most useful. There are many great blogs and writers covering topics of importance catering to that audience as well but I know that we each have unique voices with something to offer. Since this has come up as a topic to be addressed I knew I had to write about trans-misogyny.

Thanks to the continued subversive behavior of gays and lesbians many of us who identify as hetereo are understandably confused about the difference between a drag queen and a trans woman. Many people mistakenly think they are interchangeable and some variation of “a guy who plays at being a woman”. Then, if you add cross-dressers to the mix or gender queers it gets even more confusing. It needs to be addressed.

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Aaron McGruder Skewers Tyler Perry & I Wish I’d Done It First!

I admit while much of The Boondocks makes me squirm and I really don’t like any variation of the N Word being used – even by (cartoon) kids – I do find the series amusing. There’s a complexity and underlying critique that’s often missing in our discourse that I find refreshing with this show.  

Now, I’m not endorsing this latest Boondocks episode “Pause”, but if I had to choose my top five favorites they would be (in no particular order)

1. The episode about a musician, who closely resembles R Kelly & the critique of the foolish people who acquitted him for child rape (shades of Roman Polanski)

2. The episode where MLK woke from a coma to see the black community in such disarray he disavowed himself and moved to Canada

3. & 4 The infamously “banned” episodes about BET that some say accurately portrayed executive Debra Lee

5. This one! ding ding ding

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My Black Tech Blazers Panel Was A Hit!

As I venture into more public speaking engagements and connect with people it’s being reaffirmed how many want to share information, make technology as user-friendly as possible, serve as real change agents to level an unbalanced playing field and meet others who share similar values.


Combining Advocacy With Technology for Social Change

The Black Tech Blazers panel is the first in a series of conversations regarding community activism, providing tools of empowerment and most importantly identifying an entire market of people currently being under-served. That demographic is by race, class, age and physical ability amongst other things.

The number one point to these conversations is in support of us being CREATORS and INFORMED USERS instead of blindly consuming with no specific purpose, understanding or reciprocity.

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Combining Social Media, Technology & Advocacy

So, I’m heading out to do final preparations before my first panel presentation! I’m excited for this opportunity to engage like-minded people who are interested in creating opportunities for themselves but especially for children from underserved/inadequately involved communities.

Obviously, the main focus of my interest is on the welfare of black children and specifically African-American girls. With all of the negativity and apathy being thrown at women and girls there has to be a pushback against the depravity. The Black Tech Blazers panel is a conversation featuring tech/social media related professionals and how we might join with others to positively impact the lives of children.

This is part of DC Week  but I’d like to continue these discussions and cover many areas such as healthcare, empowerment, travel, etc as long as it’s related to utilizing  technology and keeping those who wish to achieve to remain competitive in a global market.

One of the official bloggers for DC Week interviewed me before the session. Clink the link for the full transcript. Here’s an excerpt:

Q: What inspired you to develop this session for DCWEEK?

A: As an advocate of human rights, social justice and deploying tools of empowerment for those who may be misdirecting their focus on situations that work against their interests, I have noticed conversations surrounding technology are far too homogenous. Even when a “multi-cultural” focus is deployed it still doesn’t always address the specific needs of th African-American community or in uplifting women and children. Instead of hoping for others to meet those needs or take a leadership role in addressing these discrepancies I decided to be the one I was waiting for and do so myself. Far too often we have legitimate criticism of how things may be lacking but most people are unwilling to step forward to take charge and make the effort themselves. So many black women are already serving as heads of households and we need to utilize our ingenuity and strength in ways that will be reciprocated for our benefit. This panel is debuting during Digital Capital Week but will be part of an ongoing conversation that is sorely missing. All are welcome to participate.

Q: Have you found that the contributions of Blacks in technology tend to be unknown and/or overlooked? If so, why?

A: As with everything as a non-dominant group the contributions of blacks can tend to be unfamiliar. We have historically been creators of so many valuable inventions from the potato chip to the street light. Partially it was due to structural barriers but more recently it’s been due to lack of ethnic pride in our contributions towards building this country. If we don’t acknowledge our own work and coordinate with each other to motivate and elevate the status of the black collective no one else will.

Thanks to everyone in advance for participating. I may decide to do a live podcast but will most likely blog a follow-up site post afterwards since this is the first one. If anyone is following on Twitter the hashtag to search will be #dcweek and #blktchblzrs.

Why More Of You Need To Know About The Consumers Union Summit

I have had the pleasure of attending the Consumers Union Activist Summit in DC and it has far exceeded my expectations.  From my initial surveying of the crowd the attendees skew an older demographic and yes it is somewhat homogeneous. I’m not going to voice a complaint about that at this time because from speaking with the lovely staff I’d say any “lack” of a more balanced participation comes from you..and you and you.

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Cox Communications Taps Woman Basher James Andrews aka Key Influencer To Teach Young Girls About Cyber Bullying

 You don’t hire carnivores to convert people to vegetarianism.

You don’t expect Tea Baggers to become peace activists.

You don’t ask Roman Polanski or R. Kelly to speak out against child rape.

You don’t hire blowhard self-declared Social Media “experts” who go on cyber rampages against women they disagree with to speak to young girls about Internet Safety.

So I have a question for Cox Communications:

ARE YOU CRAZY?

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The Key To Finding Peace Is In Finding Or Mending The Pieces Of Your Life

Last Friday’s Oprah featured investigator Troy Dunn reuniting long-lost family members. Many had been separated due to upheaval such as children trying to locate a birth parent. While the show focused mainly on biological families and there was a meeting featured between an adult who was reunited with the  foster parents who had not secured custody. 

When I was ten years old I met another girl my age who was in foster child  being cared for by my neighbors. We formed a fast friendship. She expressed her desire to be loved and to have a real home as she’d been sent to live with many strangers. I felt that ache as if it were my own wound and vowed that one day I’d give serious consideration to adopting a child in addition to any biological children I’d have.

Unfortunately the neighbors did not adopt her, she was sent elsewhere and we lost contact. I did find her several years later, older and still in the foster care system but hopeful. I have no idea what has become of her since but have always wished her well.

That show only reiterates how important it is to our well-being to have a solid connection to people who love and support us.

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