OFFICIAL LIVEBLOG: Leadership: Hope and Change in Action

Session description: This session is quite simply about inspiration. Come hear about case studies of women bloggers affecting real change In Real Life…online and off. Jessica Ferris will talk to Gina McCauley, founder of Blogging While Brown, Kathrin Ivanovic, creator of The Diversity Projekt and Naomi Hirabayashi from the New York City Changemakers about the impact their blogs are having on the world around them, and how you can cultivate the same effect.

Jes wants to take a poll to see what people are interested in.

Who in here considers themselves a social activist. Do you blog about social activism? Do you want to begin blogging about it, or getting involved in grassroots community.

It's going to be a case study panel.

Jes: Your blog really didn't start with a mission. How it got started? Did it naturally evolve without a specific form.

Kathrin - First blog was on LiveJournal. She came out in 2001, Afro-German woman. It evolved and helped. how she fits in the world and how it matters
She was connecting with awesome people who were making changes in their community. Berlin, Philly. I was transitioning from corporate imigration law to community orgs.

Her blog was initially personal but became more commentary, op-ed . she is adressing more issues.

Jes: How do you use social media to bring awareness to issues you are passionate about.

Kathrin: Connecting with people. Keep in touch with people around the world that she met in her journey. She's on twitter @KathrinOutLoud and on Facebook and flickr (Everything is KathrinOutLoud)

Jes: Those of you who blog about social activism. How did you launch and mobilize others into action.

Elisa Talb - Lemonade initative - a group fighting for education reform in LA. They decided to hold a big rally and overnight they put up a website quickly, twitter, facebook and emailed to every person they knew and asked them to pass it along. Within two weeks had 350-500 people show up at a rally. They have had press (LA Times, etc).

Since then - they are trying to keep the momentum going. Starting to parent with other groups. Trying to figure out how to keep their voice relevant.

Fran Langam - blogs at Blue Gal and Crooks and Liars
Go to Google Blog search to find out who else is blogging about your topic. Leave a comment at that post and say "Im doing this" - Attention you give other bloggers will expand it. Like dropping a pebble into an ocean.

Kathrin - Careerist has been a great resource and they share with them a lot. She keeps up with people that she has met in forums like this. Face to Face interaction has been great in growing relationships. I send them copy of things she writes to get feedback.

Lisa - Huffington Post (Soaring - Running charity for 8 years. Help million of ill kids and family to never give up (illness, etc) Hershey wanted to give 35,000 dollar donation if they can get people to take a survey. Deadline is Monday. Survey takes 10 minutes to do. We want to make that deadline. Jet Blue got involved - they sent it to all their employees.

22 million kids in this country have an illness. You need to keep getting the word out. Lots of companies/communities looking for connection. That's what they are about.

Judy - - Get moms involved in politics. They organize in the beginning is to use an existing social network that most of them are already part of (Parenting bloggers) -Draw on those networks and publicized that they launched the website and to attract more participation. If you are already connected to like-minded people, their interests might align with your cause.

All of us a part of a group. People in the same industry, interests. It can be very powerful to let them know (in a non-pushy fashion)

Jes; That's really similar to using the internet to find others who are passionate about same issues.

Linda Owen: - Echo what Lisa said - just ask. Thing about social action is that it is so simple to put into action. SoaringWords had lunch with her and sent her a non-pushy email to help get the word out about the Hershey survey.

Fit with my goal and was happy to post it.

Naomi - How you get information and what you are doing with it is important. When you talk about social issues (twestival for ex) - it's important to know what you are talking about - don't dumb down social media.

Gina: I used my first blog to launch unmitigated war against people who were against black women and girls. They didn't understand how this no-nothing in Austin was giving her hell in 2007 and force BET to lose some sponsors. She launched an all out PR war with Viacom.

In the past, she wouldn't have had access to New York Times, etc. When they would say this is our point of view, and she would say it's complete and uttter stupidity.

Activists have an advantage because you understand the speed.

They put a release out on Monday, use Google alerts to find it.

The show BET wanted to launch was "Hot Ghetto Mess" Sponsors were many corporate brands. She took screen capture and sent it to the sponsors.

Her cause is the degradation of African-American women and girls. I blame Proctor and Gamble for putting their logo next to naked butts.

The show had a blackface cartoon on the webpage.

Alot of bloggers have the drive but don't send the message in the right way.

She's a lawyer and knows different ways to get in touch with them.

Sponsors were happy that she told them about the show. She uses her blog tactically. Use your blog to make companies to do the right thing. You can use technology to beat the living crap out of people.

She is learning to partner with people more. On her own, she's ok with that. She doesn't need an army, but dedicated souls and technology will amplify the war.

Heather - writes for Mothertone: A woman got kicked out of Applebees because she was nursing her baby in the corner. She rose a stink out of it and all of the local women showed up outside of Applebees and nursed their babies. The women started writing friends. Women across the nation staged Nurse-Ins at Applebees. Corporate was very sorry, the local person never apologized.

She wants to start a social activism site. Sometimes funding is a necessity. How do you get the sponsorship when you don't have a background.

Naomi - I organize meetups for young 20-30-40s who are social media fanatics- bring social leaders. There are amazing, smart people in NYC - got people in a room and listen to amazing speakers. The meetings are to inspire. Brought in Idealist leader for a meeting and it was amazing.

You put yourself out there - this is my goal and this is what we are doing. If you are assertive and excited, you will get people to listen.

Another speaker was DoctoDock - takes surplus supplies - sends it to developing countries. Sonogram machine was sent to Africa - saved so many lives now.

Nonprofit leaders want to believe in the next generation are so excited to see fresh-faces. If you look online - the young millennial movers and shakers are intelligent and can do so many things. It's important to make every generation better than the next.

Gina: Money is a big issue. It's irrelevant to me when I'm beating the crap out of Proctor and Gamble. When people pay you money, it may mute your voice. People in your network will support you. Direct appeals will get supporters to help you. Use multiple streams to gain income. Throw a conference. Margins on conferences are pretty good. Start another website to help subsidize your activist website.

Some of the sponsors of Blogging While Brown are organizations who want to reach activisms. Not as easy to get money as entertainment sites.

Kathrin - Some of us have other jobs. She wanted to leave corporate to be more active in her community. She was hired at an organization that helps refugees and immigrants. They help many people in Philly. They also do technical assistance to smaller agencies and will help them with branding, marketing, volunter assistance and programatically.

Naomi - figure out what you want it to be and present it to your boss. She works for a social media marketing firm. In a post AIG world, all corporations should have a social leg. They work with IBM who are amazing and have a budget to do this.

They host monthly non-profit training nights to help the local community. You will be surprised to how much companies will take to your ideas if you are passionate.
A lot of companies don't think about it.

Gina: If you dont work for one of those employers. She's a lawyer. The technology helps you get your voice out there.

Kathrin - Twitter is free, but it takes time to invest.

Jes: Kathrin's Tips on the screen (PowerPoint attached at the end of this liveblog)

Kathrin - Be passionate about your cause, both blogging and in person. Creative Exploration is more important than final product. She works on 5-7 different posts a day - not all of them make it up there.

Her blogs connect her with other people. She'll contact friends to help her connect with her community better through her blog.

- Make every action, every blog post counts.

Recently she start posting about being Lesbian and Christian. Her old church was actively homophobic and she published these posts about it. The GLBT community commented on the blog and asked why she went there if they aren't fully affirming.

Equality Advocates - civil rights for Gays and Lesbians in Philly. Queers in Faith group was formed. They go to weekly meetings and talk about how they can bring people together.

More and more of her day job is infiltrating her blog, but she is so passionate about her work and it overlaps with her interest. How does she keep the personal integrity of her blog and talk about the clients she meets in her job. She talks to other bloggers to see how they do it - it's a process.

Gina: There is a solid 3 foot block wall between work and my activism. They will never merge. She brings her lawyer skills to the blog, but the work doesn't overlap. Work is a vacation compared the madness online. She gets a break at work. You have to practice extreme self-care. The weight of it all will crush you - you'll be broken to the point where you have to draw lines.

She is only on Twitter on certain days. You have to keep your center. You can be good to people, but be good to yourself in the same time.

GIna - twitter - @bwbconference



Naomi - At the end of the day, your items should be affecting real world. She signs off when she gets home. She steps back and is better at it when she goes out with friends and lives. It's a tool for something really powerful for in real life. People are so plugged in and you are going to hit a wall. Don't be online all day.

Gina: When you operate in a bubble online, you get detached to the outside world. When you talk to your cousin who doesn't read your blog, it brings you back to the real world.

Kahtrin - great to have some things that have nothing to do with this.

Gina started (activism about black females)
She makes people embarrassed online about being apathetic. She does a campaign once a quarter to get people to do one tiny thing. (Micro-Activism)

She only goes after egregious stuff. General Mills should not be on a website that has girls in bikinis, etc. Thats her personal opinion.

Producers, reporters read her blog. Saw it on Gina's blog, that sounds like a good story for me. They call the sponsors and blow up the story because it becomes news.

She doesn't burn her audience out. She only asks people to do something when she thinks people can do it.

Jes: Love that you give permission to people to be angry and give them tools to connect to say their peace.

Gina: She uses hyperbole, she's a lawyer and it helps rile people up - she calls people Satan. She calls Deborah Lee satan (BET). First article that hit AP Wire referenced her putting Deborah Lee on Marie Antoinette's body.

She's not a diplomat, she's the Pentagon, call her when you want to go to war.
She gets results.

She is entertaining - most activists bore you to tears. If you go to her archives, she can roll out the sarcasm.

Jes: Do you give people a script to talk to people?

Gina: She frames the issue tightly. Occasionally she'll put up what she said. She doesn't give them a script - her readers don't have a problem expressing themselves.
People who are coming to her site are already ticked off. She just points them in the right direction.

Talking about Rev. Al Sharpton how he goes after Don Imus but when DL Hughley says something worse about the women's basketball team, he stays silent. She lights the fuse and lets people go.

Sharpton issued a statement after this "no-name" blogger brought the issue to light.

I just ask you to condemn. It doesnt cost you anything to say I condemn you.

Sponsors will not stay in if one sponsor pulls out of something.

Naomi -She connects passionate activists with like-minded peers and prominent leaders.
There is so much competition for our attention - how do you communicate to someone about your cause. Package your message and make it clear and think about what would compel you to donate.

What is the next step in Social Media - blogs, micro-blogs for issues.

Naomi - more people will get involved. A lot of corporations are now getting on the train. It's a natural progression it may be taken more seriously (with govt funding etc). Understanding this is how you advocate on behalf of something. This is how you make a change. I want it to have the grassroots element, but the bigger players may be there.

Gina: If you are a black woman and want a leadership position in a traditional role, it won't happen (ex NAACP - no women were in the running for the president role.)

The new online adovcates are going to decapitate the old guard. It's important for bloggers to get involved in the institutions. You can lobby but you also need to know how to get to the courthouse and file papers, etc.

Kahtrin: Reporters are becoming more aware about our staying power.

Audience: The coup will be for Huffington Post/TIna Brown who don't pay writers.

Nancy Watson - Sunlight Foundation - they have a lot of great tools that can help - they watchdog foundation. - - you can watch specific bills.

Hope and Change panel.ppt4.63 MB