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BloggerWeek 2016

Bloggerweek 2016 1st Recap

Bloggerweek’s third annual conference was a setting where bloggers could talk intimately about what is on their minds regarding social media and social justice. The whole “blogger week” conference was new to me, so I didn’t know what to expect. But I am thrilled that I attended and I look forward to tomorrow’s unconference.

Blogger is different from other conferences because the room wasn’t packed. It was small enough so we could get to know each other. We also shared  intimate conversations in each session so the speaker wasn’t just presenting they were having an open dialog with us in the audience. We ate and talked. Bus Boys and Poets in Washington DC provided the perfect setting for this conversation. We were in an environment where we could be open and honest. We were interested in each others thoughts and the presenters shared stories they were very passionate about. 

To me, this conference wasn’t about making more money as blogger, but about how to make an impact on society.

Here are a few of my favorite moments:

Jessica A.M Aiwuyor, founder of Blogger Week, discussed how social media has helped raise awareness and unite groups of people much more quickly then any medium we used in the past like word of mouth or telephone. Hashtags help movements gain momentum and help organize our thoughts. Social media has also changed the way we conduct fundraisers and collect donations. During the Q & A I was shocked to learn that hashtags can be monetized and registered. Jessica also shared that it’s important for us to make money and trademark our ideas so that they can help sustain us in the future.

Kelly wrote her dissertation on How Black Women Use Social Media for self-awareness. Her findings closely aligned with the inspiration study presented by AT&T that found that “Black women engage in inspirational activities on their devices more than any other group (80%) compared” (source). I find it fascinating that my passion for social media is in essence rooted in my DNA to share my story with others. Black women have be passing down stories about our lives, our strength, and our complexities for generations.

Author and writer Marc Polite from Polite on Society, spoke Economic Justice in a Post-Obama America. He reminded us that regardless which candidate is elected, we will have a population of Americans who work hard, often several jobs and are barely scraping by. We need to find a way to give back to our communities to stop low wage discrimination and economic disparity. Marc shed some light on the fight for 15 movement which is fighting for the minimum wage to be increased to $15 and receive better unionization rights.

Marc Polite_BloggerWeek
 

Janel MartinezAin’t from Ain’t I Latina captivated me with her personal life story of growing up with an Afro-Honduran lineage.  She spoke of your coming of age, into her own moment of self-awareness while she was a student in a study abroad program. It’s something about going to another country that reminds you that life is not best lives through assimilation, but through self preservation.  Janel’s presentation reminded me that everyone has their own struggle so finding representation in all groups is important, no group of people should feel invisible in a world in with they contribute.

Janel Martinez_Blogger Week
 

Tyece Wilkins made us feel proud to see multiple dimensions of Black Womanhood. In fact, Bloggerweek is celebratory of gifts black women have shared. She encouraged us to reflect on black women in the media who we look up to. It was during her presentation I realized that some of the women I have seen on reality TV shows disappointed me. However, I had no right to feel so strongly about their behaviors because our world needs us all to give differently. Instead of being so critical of others, self evaluate, and remember that none of us are the same. Variety, teaches us new lessons in life.

So far, Blogger Week has helped me define one of my roles in society. Like many of my ancestors who came before me, I am a story teller, I am a digital story teller in today’s world.

More about Blogger Week:

“Blogger Week is a multicultural social media conference focused on providing digital storytellers of color access to training, workshops and other skill building opportunities. This year, 26 African American, Afro-Latino, and Afro-Caribbean and African digital storytellers will speak at Blogger Week’s Digital Media in Social Justice Symposium and the Blogger Week 2016 Un/Conference. A full schedule of events is available at BloggerWeek.com” (source).

Below is the line up of presenters throughout the week

Blogger Week 2016

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