RV Newsletter: Exploring digital inclusion at RightsCon 2019

RightsCon photo by Victoria Heath and used under a CC BY-NC 2.0 license.

Rising Voices note: Our biweekly newsletter provides a summary of our recent blog posts about all aspects of digital inclusion including access and adoption of digital tools, as well as different ways and opporunities for communities to fully participate online. Read here for previous editions of this newsletter.

RightsCon 2019 will be held June 11-14 in Tunis, Tunisia. The annual event offers an opportunity to explore the intersection of human rights in the digital age. This year’s program offers an especially strong focus on digital inclusion-related topics, which is a primary interest of Rising Voices. For example, the track “Intersectionality on the Internet: Diversity and Representation” contains a number of inclusion-related topics, including several that examines the importance of linguistic diversity in the protection of human rights online. The track “Turn It On and #KeepItOn: Connectivity and Shutdowns” includes sessions devoted to community networks and DIY approaches to connectivity.

See the RightsCon website for the entire schedule.


For this issue, we’d like you to meet three recent hosts of our rotating Twitter project on African language digital activism (@DigiAfricanLang)!  We would like to thank Denver Toroxa Breda for sharing with us his work on the Khoe languages (Khoekhoe and N|uu), Blossom Ozurumba for her work on the Igbo language, and Doaa for her work on the Nubian language.  Please read the Q&A posts to learn more about them and their work!

Also in this issue, we’d like to introduce you to a recent guest-host of @ActLenguas — indigenous language digital activists Margot Camones Maguiña (Quechua from Aija, Ancash, Peru).  In her profile post, you’ll get to know more about her and her work in revitalizing/promoting of her native language.

If you are curious about how Native American and First Nations language revitalization efforts are being aided by the internet and technology, you should check out what our recent hosts of @NativeLangsTech have to say about their work in digital activism for these languages.  We present you the Q&A blog posts with recent hosts Ian McCallum (for the Lunaape language of the Munsee-Delaware Nation in Southwestern Ontario, Canada), Jacey Firth-Hagen (for the Gwich’in language spoken in Northwest Territories, Canada), and Susan Gehr (for the Karuk language spoken in Happy Camp, California, United States).

And Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún, our first host of @DigiAfricanLang, shared stories over Twitter in regards to how large segments of Nigerian society are digitally excluded because some everyday technologies have not been made available in local languages.  Through the use of the Thread Reader App, these tweets were curated and adapted into a Global Voices Bridge story. This story explores this real digital divide and what everyday Nigerians are doing to help bridge that gap.


Are you familiar with the idea of “digital identity”?  Do you ever wonder what issues, challenges, and opportunities it might bring in a local context?  Yoti, a London-based technology company, is inviting you to join them in exploring the potential of digital identities by taking advantage of their newly launched Yoti Fellowship Programme.  Please visit their site for details.  Application due: June 15, 2019

You might have heard of the Youth@IGF Program and the IGF Ambassadors program — two fellowship programs that were created to empower and increase youth participation in Internet Governance and its related issues.  This year, the Internet Society is merging these two programs into one: IGF Youth Ambassadors Program. Please visit their site for eligibility and other details.  Application due: June 25, 2019


The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is extending an invitation to all African women writers, journalists, and activists to take part in a 10-day long African women’s writers workshop 2019.  Interested? Please visit their site for details.  Application due: June 24, 2019


Have you fancied learning the Cherokee language but don’t know where to start?  The Cherokee Nation is offering free online language classes via their new portal right now.  You can also subscribe to their newsletter to stay up to date in regards to relevant information.

Ever scratching your head trying to figure out how to write in African languages for Wikipedia?  In celebration of the Africa Day, Amir Elisha Aharoni announced a new release that will allow fellow African Wikimedians to contribute more easily.  Please read his blog to  find our more.

Are you a freelance journalist or perhaps a newbie in the newsroom who needs to get a quick start in wrapping your head around content analytics, as a way to determine what audiences are reading your stories?  Jamlab, an initiative of Wits Journalism in South Africa, recently reviewed a number of practical tools. Please read along to learn a few tricks, tips, and advice from the experts.



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Thanks to Eddie Avila for contributions to this newsletter. 

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