RV Newsletter: Building a toolkit resource for language digital activism

Rising Voices note: Our monthly 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.

Hello readers, how are you doing?  This April, we have some announcements to make.

Building upon the collective work during the International Year of Indigenous languages 2019 (#IYIL19) into the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032), Rising Voices is pleased to announce our new partnership with UNESCO in building an open educational toolkit to support digital activism for Indigenous, minority, as well as other under-sourced languages.

Through this collaboration, we are striving to bring together language activists around the world to share first-hand experiences, from best practices to practical strategies, on how they’ve incorporated digital tools into day-to-day revitalization efforts.  It’s our hope that with this toolkit, language activists and champions — existing or emerging — will be more empowered to leverage the potential of the Internet as well as related technologies in safeguarding their own language, culture, and identity. Stay tuned as to how you can get involved.


We're pleased to remind our readers that the @ActLenguas (Language Activism) rotating Twitter account is in full swing. 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 follow along to learn firsthand stories from Indigenous language digital activists from across Latin America. To date, we’ve had six guest-hosts, sharing with us their revitalization efforts from Mexico, Peru, Guatemala and Colombia.

Along this line, we’d also like to share a story about how “an ordinary guy” in Dagestan, who has no training in linguistics, dedicated himself in building “the watchtower” of local indigenous languages.  → The watchtower on the mountain of Dagestan's indigenous languages


For our Native American readers: Aspiring to harness the power of both traditional knowledge and technology in addressing your community’s unmet needs in the realm of health, education, economy, and/or sustainability?  Consider applying for MIT Solve’s Indigenous Communities Fellowship to support your endeavor (details here).  Application due: June 1, 2021


For those who are involved in digital journalism, seasoned or still learning: The Online News Association will be holding their annual conference in June!  If you’d like to take part in shaping the conversation at the event, you are invited to submit your ideas to their Suggestion Box.  Submission due: April 15, 2021

Caring for the future of underrepresented and indigenous languages?  The Arctic Knot Conference 2021 is scheduled for June.  In preparation of this virtual event, the organizers want to hear from you for imaginative ideas as to how they may create an “interesting, engaging, and enlightening” experience for all involved.  Got ideas?  Submission due: April 15, 2021

Ready for some challenges?  This year, MIT Solve is inviting everyone, anywhere, to come up with solutions for five pressing issues of our time — ranging from digital inclusion, equitable classrooms, resilient ecosystems, to health security, as well as antiracist technology.  Think you can help?  Check for the details here.  Application due: June 16, 2021


What’s your take on the importance of meaningful connectivity?  In pushing for their core agenda, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has continued to track the progress in bringing down mobile data costs.  You can read their latest analysis (released in March) here for a quick update



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Thanks to Eddie Avila for contributions to this newsletter.

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