RV Newsletter: Rising Voices meetup in Taipei brings together language activists

Rising Voices meetup in Taipei. Photo provided by Benson KC Fang and used with permission.

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 opportunities for communities to fully participate online. Read here for previous editions of this newsletter.

In January, after a few months of corresponding back and forth for collaboration, we finally had the chance to meet some of our wonderful guest hosts for @AsiaLangsOnline based in Taiwan!  Among us, there were Benson, Mulihay, Wong Cin Wun, and her Kaxabu friend Tabiliah.  Over delicious pizzas, we shared our love of languages, as well as their community work on the promotion/revitalization of Taiwanese indigenous languages.

Whether you are a language enthusiast or a curious learner, please accept our invitation to follow us on Twitter and learn more about the intersection of the role of the internet and indigenous languages around the world.


Did you enjoy the rotating Twitter campaigns during  2019, as part of RV’s commemoration of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (#IYIL19)?  The good news is that we are extending our campaigning efforts into 2020 by continuing to  showcase even more wonderful work from indigenous language activists worldwide.  If you are curious about indigenous languages across the world and what’s involved in their promotion and/or revitalization, please stay tuned!  Beginning in February, the @ActLenguas account highlighting efforts from Latin American indigenous language digital activists will start back up.  You can also read the profile posts as follows to learn more about our recent hosts as well as their work and visions concerning their language.

@ActLenguas (Latin America)

  • Marco Antonio Martínez Pérez [es] on Ayöök, a Mixe variant spoken in Oaxaca, Mexico, highlighting strategies employed to promote the language and the culture of his community

In addition to digital activism on indigenous languages, as announced earlier, we’d like to share with you a few stories from the 2019 GISWatch report, focusing on the global south experiences of AI (artificial intelligence) and its potential impacts on human rights, social justice, and development.  In this issue, please be invited to read more about how AI might help the fight against forced labor and human trafficking and a reflection on our current use of AI.

Zooming into India, there is also a story about how an NGO attempts to break down the media disenfranchisement in the state of Chhattisgarh that we’d like to bring to our readers’ attention.  → “CGNet Swara is using Bluetooth to source content and share news with Indian villages


The Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists is open for applications again.  Starting January 2020, this initiative by International Women’s Media Foundation will be taking applications on a rolling basis.  Full-time women journalists with 3+ years of professional experience are welcome!  Please see here for details.


Are you a student journalist or a recent university graduate aged 18-25?  What do you imagine the future of news will be?  The British Council, along with partners and field experts, is bringing you Future News Worldwide 2020, an intensive training program to help you develop your journalism skills.  Attendance and travel/accommodation costs will be covered for successful applicants.  Please see here for eligibility and application details.  Application due: February 14, 2020 at noon (GMT)


The 2020 Creative Commons Global Summit to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in May is now calling for session proposals and scholarship applications.  This will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the open community and ways to share in the commons.  Please see here for submission instructions.  Note: Various deadlines apply.


The 5th Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival is around the corner!  For four days, you are invited to join them in celebrating the International Mother Language Day through free screenings of 21 films from 22 regions, produced in 28 languages.  Please visit their site for event details.  Date: February 20-23, 2020 / Location: Washington, D.C.


Have you heard of Keyman?  It’s an open source keyboarding platform designed to give everyone the power to write a keyboard layout for their language.  These tools may come especially handy for those who speak/write in a unique language without fonts readily available.  For the newest version of this free tool, please see here.


Thanks to Eddie Avila for contributions to this newsletter. 


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