Esther Dyson, founder of EDventure Holdings, angel investor, philanthropist, and author of Release 2.1: A Design for Living in the Digital Age, wrote,
"The Net offers us a chance to take charge of our own lives and to redefine our roles as citizens of local communities and of a global society."
Dyson’s words remind us how powerful the Internet can be in our lives as a platform for giving voice to what we care about. They also helped to inspire Ananda Leeke, a Digital Communications Innovator, to use her digital footprint to inform, influence, and inspire others.
HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED
In 2013, Leeke penned Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online, a book that discusses how the Internet influenced her career, community service efforts, creativity, and work as the founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network. During her book tour, she gave a talk about the importance of digital citizenship at Spelman College’s Women Interactive conference that encouraged people to explore how they could marry their passionate interests with their digital presence to inform and inspire others to support causes and programs in their local and national communities.
Following her own counsel, she decided to apply to participate in the White House Social events to demonstrate her support of President Barack Obama’s policies and programs in 2014. The White House selected her to serve as a social media leader for the State of the Union, French Arrival Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande, and Tumblr Q&A session on education and college affordability. The U.S. Department of State invited her to serve in a similar capacity during the International Women of Courage Award Ceremony. These experiences inspired her to launch the Digital Citizenship Project (DCP), an online initiative that encourages individuals to marry their passionate interests and digital presence to support campaigns, causes, events, ideas, movements, policies, programs, and values that build awareness and community, create positive change, and promote social good.
DIGITAL CITZENSHIP MONTH IN JULY
To date, DCP has held several Twitter chats and conducted radio show interviews with people who have used their digital presence to participate in the White House and State Department Social events. From July 1 to July 31, DCP will use Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter to launch the online celebration of Digital Citizenship Month and a digital storytelling campaign called My #DigCitizen Supports. Interviews featuring social media leaders sharing their definition of digital citizenship and experiences will be featured weekly on the Tumblr blog. A series of weekly #DigCitizen Twitter chats about the digital citizenship power of communities of color, baby boomers, Generation X, and millennials will be held.
MY #DIGCITIZEN SUPPORTS CAMPAIGN
DCP will use the My #DigCitizen Supports Campaign to post photos of people expressing how they use their digital presence to support their passionate interests and ideas (see photos above). You can participate too by creating a sign that reads “My #DigCitizen Supports _____________.” Fill in the blank with your passionate interests and ideas. Use the #DigCitizen hashtag and Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter to post your photos. DCP will repost and share your photos.
HOW TO CONNECT
SPREAD THE WORD
Share this blog post with your network and encourage them to participate in the campaign! Many thanks for your support.
Dariela Cruz of Dari Design Studio created the #DigCitizen Month badge: http://daridesignstudio.com. The photograph of Ananda Leeke (woman in red blazer) was provided by Jeff Brooks of Photog4Naturals: http://photog4naturals.com.