Permission to Dream Again
The beauty of Web 2.0 and what excites me most about it is that it transcends barriers that had previously held hope at bay. Web 2.0 breaks or limits the power of the twin enemies—fear and ignorance—that have long held back the oppressed from striving for liberation. With relatively limited censorship in most countries, oppressed peoples may now find “safe spaces” in online forums to share their stories. We can also look forward increased intercultural awareness and understanding as through our stories, women and men, young and old around the world dispel false stereotypes and break down barriers to expose the truth that we share a common humanity.
Web 2.0 has leveled the playing field for women all over the world. From Ostrava in the Czech Republic to Ibadan in Nigeria, women can more easily obtain information and contribute their voices to the global discourse on justice, poverty eradication, the HIV AIDS pandemic, and myriad issues that plague our world. The advent of Web 2.0 makes possible collaboration across the globe, so that not only may women now exchange stories, but we can experience mutual empowerment as we share ideas for transforming our dreams into action.
Web 2.0 has been empowering for me because it brought me to a realization that “I am only one, but not alone.” There are hundreds…thousands more people out there like myself who are concerned about injustice, poverty, and suffering, and who are doing something about it. Several months ago, I was distressed as the story unfolded of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, but I felt powerless to do anything significant on my own to help the victims of the earthquake. I hadn’t the means to go to Haiti, nor the clout to make others go. Web 2.0 provided a means for reaching out to other people concerned about the plight of the Haitians. Through a combination of social media tools and word of mouth, I was able to reach out to hundreds of people and mobilize three hundred volunteers to collect, package, and send 1,000 hygiene kits to displaced people in Haiti. In the future, I intend to harness Web 2.0 as a tool for collaborating with like-minded individuals to accomplish community goals that once seemed insurmountable.
Web 2.0 permits us to dream again.
Perhaps, when we come away from our PCs and laptops, we will remember we are not alone.
Perhaps we will seek to recreate in our immediate worlds the openness, the willingness to forgive, the color-blindness of our virtual worlds.
Perhaps, Ada will remember the exhilaration of sharing a story and she will take her daughter by the hand and break the silence: "Child, my dreams died when I was given in marriage at the age of 13. You must always fight for your dreams."
Change is riding on the wave of Web 2.0. The world is coming together; dreams are being revived; hope is rising!