RV Newsletter: Online exchanges to explore language digital activism

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.

How do you find yourself adjusting to the “new normal,” dear readers? We hope that you are well.

In the Americas, many Indigenous communities have been striving to save their languages from fading away and where often the few remaining speakers are their elderly members. This COVID-19 pandemic poses a particular threat to their cultural survival and an urgent need for creative strategies to engage both native and general public participation in this regard.

In July and August, we are inviting you to join us in a series of online conversations on how indigenous activists in Mexico and Canada have leveraged technology and the Internet in their revitalization efforts.  This event [en] [es] will take place over a six-week period in July and August.  If you are up for a cross-regional learning/exchanging experience on this topic, please stay tuned as further details and registration info come along. The first event is scheduled for July 16, please see here to find out how you can register. These activities are taking place in partnership with the Canadian Embassy in Mexico.


Following our commemoration of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (#IYIL19), Rising Voices and our partners are continuing a series of rotating Twitter campaigns based off last year’s successful initiative. If you are curious about indigenous, minority, endangered, or under-resourced languages across the world plus how the internet and technology may play a role 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, their work and visions for their languages.

@ActLenguas (Latin America)

  • Gladys Camacho Rios [es] on her revitalization efforts in Quechua — particularly monolingual Quechua, indigenous to southern Bolivia and facing extinction — as well as her dedication in inspiring fellow native speakers to do the same for their own languages

@AsiaLangsOnline (Asia)

  • Ilham Nurwansah on the current status of his mother tongue — Sundanese, spoken primarily in western Java island of Indonesia — as well as what he has been doing in discovering its richness and in promoting the language
  • Walis Taywang on how he fell in love with Seediq — a Taiwanese indigenous language considered critically endangered — what he has learned over the years, as well as the multifold approaches he has adopted in revitalizing the language

In this issue, we’d also like it for our readers to learn about how, in two separate scenarios, governmental measures have further compromised the lives of their people during this current pandemic:
Students arrested for demanding internet facilities in Balochistan
MarginalizedAadhaar: Digital identity in the time of COVID-19


Running a podcast of your own and wanting to take it to the next level or sharpen your skills as a producer?  Consider joining your cohort in the Google Podcasts Creator Program, a partnership by Google and PRX to empower underrepresented voices in the global podcasting realm.  Further details can be found here and the FAQs here.  Application due: August 2, 2020 at 11:59 (ET)


The CC Global Summit has decided to host their 2020 event entirely online.  To better reflect what’s happening right now around the world, they are reaching out to the open community and would welcome proposals in five supported languages for a more localized experience.  Please see here for further details and instructions.  Submission due: July 17, 2020 at 11:59pm (UTC)


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Celtic Knot Wikimedia Language Conference is taking their 2020 event online to save prospective attendees from traveling.  The focus of the year will be on the Irish language and further details of this free event can be found here. All presentations will be made available on the Wikimedia UK YouTube channel. Date: July 9-10, 2020

For the same health risk concerns, the 21st Allied Media Conference is also going virtual this year.  If you are interested in social justice organizing through participatory media, this is for you.  Further details to registration and event schedule can be found here.  Date: July 23-26, 2020



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Thanks to Eddie Avila for contributions to this newsletter.

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