RV Newsletter: A social media campaign explores the intersection of digital rights and African languages

Africa by Georgia Osinga from the Noun Project.

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.

What comes to mind when you think of digital rights, dear readers?  Over a five-week course, five language activists across Africa will be taking turns in sharing first-hand experiences and personal insights on this matter, through a language lens, via @GVSSAfrica.

This social media campaign, organized by Rising Voices and the Sub-Saharan Africa newsroom of Global Voices, is part of a new project funded by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA).  This project builds upon a previous effort on our part in exploring how digital rights were threatened during major political events across Africa and has a focus on “identity-driven hate speech, misinformation and harassment in African digital spaces during politically charged periods.”

If you are curious as to how language plays a role in the realm of digital rights, please come follow @GVSSAfrica to join our previous @DigiAfricanLang guest hosts in this important conversation!  Please see here for the full schedule.

Meanwhile, be 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)

  • José Chuvé Mengarí [es] on the current status of the Bésiro language, spoken in eastern Bolivia, his devotion of bringing the language to the younger generation through audiovisual materials, as well as what has motivated him in this endeavor
  • Claudio Hernandez [es] on Tu'un Savi — a Mixtec variant from San Juan Mixtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico — and the intersections of the language with identity, his multifaceted migration experience, as well as language revitalization through social media.


In support of local journalism amidst this current pandemic, Google News Initiative is reaching out to small to medium-sized news organizations worldwide by offering a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund.  Please see here for eligibility requirements and application details.  Application due: April 29, 2020 at 11:59pm (PT)


Thanks to Eddie Avila for contributions to this newsletter. 

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