Nov 17 2016

Standing Together to Promote Digital and Education Equity

#hivebuzz

Since the most recent U.S. election, our communities and schools have seen a sharp increase in open hostility towards people of color, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ+ people, women, and other traditionally oppressed and underserved populations.  These are the very communities we aim to create equitable learning opportunities for through our collective work across Mozilla Hive Learning Networks in Chicago, New York City, and Toronto.

We believe that every young person needs safe, open, and inclusive learning environments to thrive.  Regardless of our own political views, it is our responsibility as educators and allies to create and uphold these environments so that the young people we serve have opportunities to engage in dialogue with their peers, develop their own values, think critically about the world they live in, and freely express their views and opinions.  

Additionally, the influence and impact of social and digital media over the past few weeks–and months–have shown us the essential roles that web literacy, digital media learning, and online privacy have in our education system and society as a whole.  As we move towards an increasingly networked world, it is essential that we all teach and learn to critically consider how our technology, data, and media are constructed; protect our communities from online surveillance; both produce and consume online content; safely connect, communicate, and organize on the internet; and ensure that all communities have equal access to media and technology. At Mozilla, advocating for a healthy, open web means fighting against the segmented narratives, filter bubbles, and mass surveillance that are growing threats to our increasingly connected, online lives.

Many of you have shared educator resources for facilitating difficult conversations and processing current events within your local Hive networks, and have already created space for this work in your programs and classrooms.  For the benefit of members across networks, we’ve compiled your resources, along with others we’ve come across, in the working list below.  

As Hive Learning Network facilitators, we are committed to actively working to dismantle the racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia that divide our communities.  Our work to promote digital equity and an open web is only possible when youth and educators feel that they can safely contribute to it.  We know this work is an ongoing process, and look forward to continuing to build in collaboration with all of you in our networks.  As an immediate step, we invite you all to share any related personal stories, tips, and resources you may have to add to our list.

In solidarity,

Ann Marie, Brenda, Chrystian, Hana, Kenyatta,  Meghan, Sam & Simona

Mozilla Hive Learning Networks

Tips & thoughts on facilitating safe spaces (sourced from Hive members)

  • Conversations in your programs and classrooms do not have to be conclusive.  Sometimes all that’s needed is a safe space to process.  
  • If youth are wondering what’s going on, take it as an opportunity to engage in conversation with them–open up the ‘stage’ for people to voice their fear and hopes.  
  • Validate young people’s individual experiences.  We all have different lived realities, and it is important that these realities are acknowledged and accepted in fostering safe dialogue.
  • Show young people that there are sources of support, including your institution and program, for them.

Resources

Leave a Comment