RV Newsletter: Reporting out from the “Decolonizing the Internet's Languages” gathering

Image by Visual Thinkery from the Decolonizing the Internet's Languages Summary Report, via @visualthinkery and used under a CC-BY-SA4.0 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 opportunities for communities to fully participate online. Read here for previous editions of this newsletter.

The Internet has become an indispensable part of life for many among us.  However, are you aware that there is a serious imbalance between the dominate languages of cyberspace and its users?

According to this report by Whose Knowledge?, while 75% of today’s Internet users are from the Global South, English and Chinese remain the dominate languages online, along with other colonial languages.  In other words, the Internet as we know it is “not multilingual enough to reflect the full depth and breadth of humanity.”

In late 2019, a group of thirty people from around the world met in London to put their heads together as to what can be done to change the status quo.  Dear readers, how would you like to join the conversation in Decolonizing the Internet?  Read the report to see how you can get involved and join the conversation.

Meanwhile, stay well.


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!  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)

  • Liz Julissa Camacho Zuñiga [es] on herself, her mother tongue — Quechua from the Peruvian Andes — as well as what has motivated her work in promoting the language on social media
  • Tzintia Montaño [es] on finding her way to the language of her family — Mixtec from Santiago Huajolotitlán, Oaxaca, Mexico — as well as the question of identity in the context of transnational migration
  • Chontalita Vázquez [es] on the language and culture of the Chontal population, from the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca in Mexico, as well as the role of social media in the promotion of her language


To address online hate speech and threats to freedom of expression and religion across five South and Southeast Asian countries, Association for Progressive Communications is looking to give away subgrants over a three-year period (2019-2021) to cover various efforts in the region.  Please see here for eligibility and application details.


The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is seeking an external consultant to help them develop a new communications strategy in supporting their advocacy goals for the period of 2020-2023.  If interested, please see here for additional details.  Application due: April 15, 2020 at 23:00 (UTC)


Are you reporting from a developing country and are aspiring to reach an audience beyond your home region?  Persephone Miel Fellowship wants to help you achieve just that. Please see here to learn more about its details.  Application due: April 10, 2020


The American Philosophical Society’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research is calling for proposals for its upcoming three-day conference, aiming to foster future students and scholars from both the indigenous communities and the allied areas.  Please see here to learn more about its themes, along with other details.  Application due: April 15, 2020

The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is scheduled to take place this November in Poland and is calling for proposals.  The theme of the year is: Internet United. Please see here for additional information.  Submission due: April 15, 2020  Note: Travel support available for eligible applicants

Do you share the same passion as the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) in utilizing maps and open data for humanitarian and sustainable development purposes?  HOT is looking for volunteers to help them with their translating needs. Please see here for details.  Application due: September 26, 2020


Are you looking to bring your indigenous language online but don’t know where to begin?  Translation Commons has put together a practical guide to support you in going from Zero to Digital (PDF).  Hope some of our readers will find it useful!


Thanks to Eddie Avila for contributions to this newsletter. 

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