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VOF Week 1: Putting Sisterhood on the Agenda

erykah_join_the_movement.jpg

What excites me most about Web 2.0 is: 1) the ability to expand social impact through media, dissemination of information, training and consulting opportunities; 2) the potential to research and develop new initiatives for women and girls of African descent in response to societal trends and needs and; 3) the ability to increase regional, national, and international collaboration through partnerships.

Web 2.0 brings collaboration and resource-sharing into the model for scaling and large-scale impacts by giving grassroots organizations access in the creation of a synergistic, all-inclusive global women’s movement. For example, Sisterhood Agenda collaborates with global partners to create an extensive network to inform and promote the important work of individuals and organizations around the globe. While Sisterhood Agenda’s target population is women and girls of African descent, this global women’s movement includes both genders and all ethnic groups around the world. Importantly, this results in a global mission with local effectiveness leading to massive collective impacts.

Empowerment is a process by which people, organizations, and communities gain mastery over issues of concern to them. Efforts to gain control, access to resources, and a critical understanding of one’s sociopolitical context are fundamental aspects of empowerment processes. Sisterhood Agenda empowers woman and girls of African descent by instilling knowledge, self-awareness, and hope. Web 2.0 is empowering because the global sisterhood networks created by Web 2.0 contribute (in a meaningful way) to a connected, informed and empowered community that reflects its rich diversity.

Females of African descent are disproportionately affected by poverty, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS, juvenile delinquency, educational deficits, low self-esteem, lack of cultural knowledge, and health issues such as hypertension, diabetes, overweight/obesity. Lack of cultural knowledge, relevant services and positive media has pervasive effects on the individual girls, their children and the community.

The majority of online media featuring women and girls of African descent is limited to pornography and girl fights. Results from a Proctor & Gamble/ESSENCE poll in 2007 shows that 77 percent of African American women are "concerned" about the way they are portrayed in popular media. The vast majority, 71 percent, say that they are portrayed "worse" than other racial groups in the media. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that teens are negatively influenced by those images.

Current technology presents new opportunities to build community and address gender-specific and culturally relevant concerns among geographically disparate partner organizations and individuals. Sisterhood Agenda is poised to take advantage of this time in history to effectively and efficiently serve its constituents by sharing resources, collecting and dissemination of hard-to-find educational materials.

During the past year, Sisterhood Agenda enhanced its online presence and offered alternative positive media. The response was overwhelming. Sisterhood Agenda has more web-based services planned. Importantly, these new systems are:
• Visually attractive, interactive and fun.
• FREE for everyone.
• A green alternative to reduce paper and chemical consumption to save our environment.
• Seen by millions of website visitors.
• Exciting opportunities to educate the public.

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Comments

consolata's picture

THE POWER OF MEDIA

HI Angela,
I really feel you. The power of Media is so powerful than we contemplate. I always think of media as a major tool to disseminate information Negatively or Positively. Womans Hope Magazine (www.womanshope.org) a Free Monthly Magazine was Born out of this concern. To spread positive information to Women and Girls which in return will empower them. The Magazine is distributed to the lower class of women and girls who hardly affords to buy themselves a copy of the magazines in the Market. I believe there is so much we can learn from each other. Hope to hear from you soon.
Sister Consolata.

Sister Angela's picture

Your Organization & Magazine

Hi Sister Consolata,

I am honored that you have shared your magazine with me! I hope that we can share it with Sisterhood Agenda constituents as a hyperlink and add Woman's Hope as a Sisterhood Agenda Global Partner. We plan to do this with the many different magazines that are being created just for us--it is an exciting time to participate in media. It makes sense that we let everyone we know about your activities, including, but not limited to your magazine. Thank you for reaching out and I hope to stay in touch.

In the Spirit of Sisterhood,
Angela

consolata's picture

This great Angela

Hi sista Angela,
Womans Hope will really be honoured to be part of Sisterhood Agenda. To be frank with you I have really been praying for Partnership since this is the only way we get to be known out there. The Magazine is a flatform of what we do. Actually the Website on the whole actvities is underway and you will be able to understand us more. Thanks so much for all the good things you are planning for us.
By the way, I am planning to attend for a conference in Washington D.C in May-26-30. On Global Health. Hope to see you there too!
Regards,
Sista Consolata

consolata's picture

watched your videos

Sister. I watched you on Sisterhood youtube and felt like you just next to me. Unfortunately didnt manage to comment. Was all rejected. Will learn how to.
great avenue to reach to people. Loved the one you are talking about the white and black doll. How sad.
keep up the good work, Sister.
Regards,
Sis, Consolata

JCalbery's picture

Remarks for First Assignment

Dear Sister Angela,

I really enjoyed your article. You write with a passion and strength about the work of your organization that will no doubt inspire women and young women of African descent, in particular.

I appreciate that you raised the issue of all inclusive women's empowerment and the negative portrayal of women in online media but that online media can be used to address such an issue. It was positive to hear that Sisterhood Agenda has embraced online technolgies and I would be interested to hear how you as an individual embrace Web 2.0 as well.

J

Sister Angela's picture

Thanks J

I appreciate your comments. At Sisterhood Agenda, I think that we make a conscious effort not spend much energy criticizing the negative--we just look at showcasing something positive, new and different. I certianly think that Web 2.0 can be a vehicle to enhance critical thinking skills, especially among our girls, men and women who may not "get it" at first. I wonder if any of you agree with this philosophy.

Individually, I just got a smartphone today! It is indicative of the fact that I am struggling with living in my world with the duality of an online and offline presence. Online, I feel connected, but struggle with making that connection beyond the surface level of technology. I am a "vibe" person, often relying on intuition and sensations. I do this unconsciously and now must learn how to "vibe" with people online in a whole new way. I like to live in the present and I want technology to enhance my life, not distract from it. I have found a place in-between and this gap is sometimes where I feel most comfortable. Still learning, though...

In the Spirit of Sisterhood,
Angela

mrbeckbeck's picture

Connections, virtual and real

Hello Angela,

I was lucky enough to be one of your Listeners for the Week 1 assignment. I'm very impressed with your clarity of voice and vision. It was a pleasure to read your solutions-oriented writing...while you mention the context and problems facing women around the world, and of African descent in particular, you focus on the opportunity provided by Internet technologies, which is great!

There are certainly a lot of opportunities for partnerships and connections through Web 2.0. It's very exciting and very challenging at the same time. I'm happy we're on the road toward a brighter day though...together we'll get there! I love your observation in the last comment you wrote-- that online we're connected, but not connected at the same time. Technologies can provide a base opportunity, but then it's up to all of us to make it meaningful. Hard work? Yes. Worth it? Of course!

I look forward to hearing more from you, and taking the time to explore your site. Thanks for being here.
Scott

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Volunteer

Sister Angela's picture

Connections

Hi Scott,

Thank you for your response! As you mention, the challenges are worth overcoming and minor compared to the vast potential that exists. I look foward to learning more about how to make our individual and collective visions come to fruition.

I believe that the key to making this happen is doing it together and sharing in creative and forward-thinking ways like World Pulse. I am constantly inspired by what I see and read. Thank you again for your feedback and take care!

In the Spirit of Sisterhood,
Angela

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