For this piece, I thought about some of the types of people who would be interested in or not interested at all in how technology has recently intersected in contemporary social movements. I also thought about those who stood the best chance to gain from such a lecture or introduction to the topic. With this in mind, I chose to specifically target students around the high school age, and organizers who knew some of the terminology I discussed and even to some extent, some of the events I incorporated into this analysis. I purposely decided to exclude domestic examples of recent social movements, to highlight how global revolutions are, and how the Internet cannot only be accessed and utilized by those in the West, but by anyone around the world. I was hoping to demonstrate that we have something to learn from these other movements, despite how much we think we are the center of the world. When I wrote this, I had a community forum or meeting at a local community center or school in mind, where we would see youth and activists in the same setting.
Some of the language I incorporated to rhetorically appeal to my audience, one, included the introduction of and by Frederick Douglass. He’s a historical figure, a monumental one that surely many of my audience would know. His quote has a couple of powerful sayings that originated with his speech, such as “Power concedes nothing without demand,” and “If there is no struggle there is no progress.” Already, I’m sure they were able to see where I was going. I incorporated a tweet and mentioned “your friends on Twitter.” Surely they weren’t friends with the person featured in the presentation, but of course, they might and could intersect paths in their respective Twitter world. I also mentioned street protesting and how, that is “where some of our grandparents or parents may say true change is accomplished.” Our predecessors are children or active participants of the civil rights movement, therefore, I thought it best to remind them of this history.
The conversation going on in this post this time around has evolved to focus specifically on social media and the Internet. The sources I have selected have evolved into including more visual representations of activism, and are definitely more recent. The resources I have picked up range from zines made by local activists, to published book chapters. This provides strength and diversity to the conversation being had, and also allows the voices of those often shunned from academia to be heard. What I believe needs to be done, is perhaps a more succinct analysis of how social media and the Internet has changed activism, but I what I would also like to see happen is a reflection on how traditional technology, or mainstream media, has been instrumental in social change in recent memory as well. I actually think what would dramatically help my assignment is an actual interview with an activist/organizer on the effects of social media. That would be interesting and provide flare for the Unit 3 assignment.
I was not successful in reaching out to my audience. While I shared the pitch flyer with my internship supervisor who is the Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, and my sister, who is a high school freshman, I think I need assistance in narrowing the scope of my audience. I also believe I need guidance in identifying how to present the assignment to them. Perhaps it can be educational in nature so to help an organization or a teacher. Or, it can be limited to my family who (I would think) listens to what I have to say. Regardless, I believe it is important for me to figure this out sooner rather than later. I do not want to struggle with this part of the assignment, and would be delighted to see a tangible impact of my work on a potential audience member.
Because I am an intern at the New York Civil Liberties Union and will be the President of the NYCLU chapter on Syracuse University’s campus next year, this research has allowed me to reflect on my own use of social media, and how I can potentially energize people through the Internet. I have had some interaction with other organizations and groups of individuals before. I helped with the promotion of our TIME: The Kalief Browder Story event which garnered a significant amount of attention from students and community members. But I believe I need to powerfully strategic in the employment of social media, even if it’s for a miniscule event.