Digital Citizenship Summit 2017
Greetings beautiful humans!
If you’re new to the blog, hello! I’m so glad you decided to join our BRAVE family. If you’ve been excitedly awaiting the next blog post, welcome back! Today’s post is brought to you by me, Sarah, AKA BRAVE’s AmeriCorps VISTA member.
On November 2nd and 3rd, four BRAVE humans attended the Digital Citizenship Summit in Provo, Utah. Meaghan, Mar, Jamiah, and I met many wonderful people and learned about how to be a good citizen in a digital space, such as on social media. Shoutout to Marialice, co-founder of the summit, her 11-year-old son Curran, who speaks about digital citizenship around the world, Michelle, who coordinated the event, and her 16-year-old daughter Becca, who was the lead youth voice in the planning/running of the summit. You are all amazing BRAVE humans and DigCit wouldn't have happened without you! What follows are some of our favorite parts:
On the second night, there was an event called the Community Blitz. This entailed everyone dispersing from the convention center to various breakout sessions across the area. I attended one in Salt Lake City with my new college-student friend, Alicia, and her former high school teacher, Rachel, where we met up with refugee and minority youth in the area for a discussion on how to #UseTech4Good. During this, we watched their short documentary Positively Social, which was created by youth in the Maine-Endwell Central School District of New York about digital citizenship and the positive impact that responsible technology use and social media can have. The discussion was facilitated by the International Rescue Committee. Check out the documentary here! I learned that many young humans, like myself, #UseTech4Good (yes, I’m going to keep hashtagging) through social media to find their communities and discover their identities, especially when they exist in a space that does not physically allow that. While it is disappointing that this lack of freedom still is prevalent, it is comforting and inspiring to know that this space is accessible. It makes me want to get involved in providing more spaces like that, such as here in our BRAVE blog!
The Youth Extravaganza was definitely my favorite part of the DigCit Summit. This community event took place on the first night. I loved the fact that it was organized by youth to highlight youth through videos, speakers, and music. It was so nice to see all of the amazing ways that young humans are trying to #UseTech4Good! Check out the pictures below!
One of my favorite parts of the DigCit Summit was having the ability to speak with people from all walks of life. We sat with parents, teachers, youth, non-profit directors, business executives, and political officials. The best thing about our conversations was that there was never one right answer. As a group, we always worked together providing our perspectives, experiences, and ideas to help answer open ended questions such as "what do we need to start doing in families to create good digital citizenship?" and "what are skills or characteristics of a good digital citizen?" It was so interesting to hear everyone share and backup their ideas with the work they do. I really enjoyed these conversations because it provided me a space to share my thoughts and unique perspective as a queer young adult feminist. I really enjoyed using the language I have developed these past couple of years, and I liked being able to teach others what they mean too. One great example of this was when Meaghan identified intersectionality as an important characteristic (which y'all probably learned about in Sarah's latest blog post :D).
We learned so much, made so many new friends, met amazing youth who are already changing the world, and we can’t wait to go back next year. Digital citizenship is so important in today’s social climate. It is not enough anymore to share your empathy and spread your love in-person. We must extend that into digital spaces too. Thanks to everyone at the summit for being inspirational, thanks to my travel companions for making memories with me, and thanks to YOU for reading!