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Reflections on Digital Access

I am fully aware that I have a lot of privilege when it comes to digital access. I live in the US where service is solid, I am able to afford the monthly fees of an internet service provider, and I have both a laptop and smartphone to access the web. I am currently struggling financially but am very, very grateful that I made the decision post-divorce to invest in a laptop with some of the proceeds from selling our house. All of my current undertakings are made easier by having digital access. I am taking online college courses, I have a computer on which to write and advance my career, and my community activism is fueled by and on the web as well.

I heard about One Billion Rising while surfing the web in the fall of 2012. I tried to find an event in my area but none was planned so I decided to do it myself, even though I knew little about doing so. I started a Facebook page and have watched in amazement as it has grown. I reached out that first year to total strangers who had "liked" the page, and together we put on a great event. In 2013 around 100 people showed up on a snowy day to dance in downtown Denver, and this year even more came to my event at the Capitol. I was able to plan the entire thing using digital tools and social media, and it didn't cost me anything. The mayor even came and spoke.

I have also utilized Facebook to organize a group of family and friends to make and serve breakfast once a month at Urban Peak, Denver's only youth homeless shelter. The last two years I have also organized a gift card drive for the youth around the holidays, and both years raised $1000 so that each youth received two $10 gift cards.

I am so very grateful for internet access and digital tools, and am very concerned about the end of net neutrality. Everyone should have the right to utilize the tools that the internet provides. It is a powerful agent for social change.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

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Comments

Elaine M's picture

thank you

Hi Beth - your story and work are inspirational and show how technology can be used to advance the greater good. It is often easier to sit back and do nothing or even worse, to feel powerless. You've proven that the tools, if available, can be put to great use. I have been reading stories from other parts of the world and we are truly living in a technology rich part of the world.

Thank you for posting on World Pulse and more power to you!

Elaine

Greengirl's picture

Very Inspiring!!!

Your story is very inspiring and it goes a long way to prove that access to digital tools and platforms can be liberating and empowering. Thank you so much for sharing about your very practical experience of how you are contributing to make the world a better place.

Keep up the amazing work!

Greengirl

Barbara Alago's picture

Thanks Beth

Hello CreativeBeth,

This is a very inspiring story indeed. You make it sound like all you do is easy breezy and yet I know it takes alot to do what you are doing in terms of time, and who to invite, worry about how many people will turn up, the kind of weather conditions out at the time. Thank you for using available technology to reach out to people in all the ways you are doing. I celebrate you, may all your causes grow from height to height.

Keep well

Barbara

Nabiye Tal's picture

Thanks for Sharing

Dear Creativebeth,
I felt so inspired reading your story. Thank you so much for sharing. The internet is such a powerful too that if women have adequate and constant access we will do a lot more. Keep up the good work and I am happy to connect with you.

Nabiye Tal- Founder/CEO, IEVAWC.
@nabiye, @ievawc
+2348162536058
nabeetal@gmail.com

Hi Beth,

I really enjoyed your post! I think it's so cool that you started the One Billion Rising event in Denver with nothing but Facebook and an internet connection. It's awesome that it grew so much the second year that the Mayor spoke!
I was also inspired by the gift card drive you organize for youth around the holidays. Gift cards is such a good idea for that too. I am curious if something similar exists at youth homeless shelters in Toronto, where I live, and will use the internet to try to find out. If not, maybe I will follow your lead and organize one. Thanks a lot for your post!

Best wishes,
Julia

creativebeth's picture

Hi Julia, This put a huge

Hi Julia,

This put a huge smile on my face!! Youth homelessness is a cause near and dear to my heart and I thank you for taking it on as well.

Cheers,
Beth

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