Saturday, March 8, 2008

International Women's Day 2008--Tell Your Stories

Take Back the Tech women have returned for International Women's Day and their great gifs and actions.

They urge all of us to tell our stories about our lives, experiences, and actions about violence against women, and hopefully write our own stories and code!

On this day and other days, I would like to urge you to remember the origins of International Women's Day to honor the women who died in the 1911 Triangle Shirt Waist Fire in New York City. Consider also the women in your everyday lives and their stories of survival, resistance, and perseverance in their homes, schools, work, streets as well as during disasters, wars, garment factory fires (yes they still occur often), internal displacement from ethnic & religious conflicts as well as the good times.

The Take Back The Tech women have developed printable story bands that you can print and write--"let me tell or ask me about my story"

they suggest: Write "Ask me" on the band, and invite people that you meet on International Women's Day to ask about your story. After you have shared your story, give them a band of their own, and ask them to continue telling and listening to stories with other people that they meet. You can also write your story on your band, and send us a picture. We'll put it up on the campaign website to widen the circle.

The Take Back the Tech site also has many useful tools and links for readers with assorted tech talents. Please check out this site!

Other sites and action:

Rising Voices held an International Women's Day Poetry Jam for the Rising Voices Blog Sites. Check out four selected poems from Madagascar, Bangladesh and Colombia as well as photos from Bolivia and Bangladesh.

You can read more poems from Bangladesh on the Nari Jibon blogsite(s).

For more about education and actions on gender abuse and violence against women in the South Asian community, see the Out Against Abuse blogsite.

Go to my earlier post re Southall Black Sisters --an extraordinary shelter-education program in London--and related links to read about their possible closure owing to funding cuts by local council. Please provide support and write a letter of protest.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Native Voices, WDBX, & Citizen's Media Resources

Host of "Native Voices" John Rivera interviews Kathryn Ward about blogging, Rising Voices, and Nari Jibon Project. Sandy Rosencrans photo.

From 2 March 2008, Native Voices radio program on WDBX, Carbondale, IL, USA, here are some of the discussed resources and blogsites (late night posting of a blogging amateur--check back for updates and more links).

Blogs are more simplified versions of websites, where bloggers can post their stories, thoughts, recipes, perspectives, pictures, slideshows, music, and/or videos. They can hyperlink to other blogs, stories and sources so that readers can go to these sources and other blogs. Readers can comment and respond. Many blogging platforms are 'free' such as Blogger (from Google), Word Press, and/or open source and link to photo and video sites (such as Flicker, Photobucket, Youtube, Bliptv, too. Increasingly, many languages are used in blogs. Finally readers can organize their blogs and searches through labels and tags in their own and other blogs.

Readers-bloggers can learn about updates on blogs through RSS feeds (really simple syndication) and subscribing to their favorite blogs, newspapers, and other sources through readers such as Google, Fireburner, My Yahoo, Bloglines, among others. Or they can look at what other blogs their favorite bloggers are reading-linking.

Readers can also bookmark their favorite blog posts through other sites-aggregators (more explanation soon on this) so that their friends and other can see what's being read, popular, etc.

Global Voices from their website: "Global Voices seeks to aggregate, curate, and amplify the global conversation online - shining light on places and people other media often ignore. We work to develop tools, institutions and relationships that will help all voices, everywhere, to be heard."

Global Voices groups post by geographic regions and topics.

Rising Voices projects blogsite "Rising Voices aims to extend the benefits and reach of citizen media by connecting online media activists around the world and supporting their best ideas." Rising Voices blogsite gives description and reports-posts on the first five small grant blogging projects, resource guides on tools of citizen media, such as an introductory guide to citizens' media (available for download in English, Spanish, and Bangla), and expanding 'the international conversation. A new round of request for grant proposals will appear on the Rising Voices website later this summer.

The five first wave grants included Voces Bolivianas with Spanish. Aymara, and English posts-videos; participants had their own blogs, in particular, Aymara-Spanish blogger, Cristina Quisbert who also blogs at Bolivia Indigena

and Hiperbarrio (Colombia) with Spanish and English posts-videos
Nari Jibon Project blogs(Bangladesh) in English and Bangla
Neighborhood Diaries (Kolkata India), English
TBCS Think Build Change (Sierra Leone), English

Five new blogging groups include projects in Madagascar--environmentalists in English, French, and Malagasy--including their incredible video coverage of a recent hurricane (FOKO), Jamaica (Prison Diaries), Kenya (Repacted) Uruguay ( OLPC one laptop per child) Iran (in progress).


Many other blogs exist on topics of interest to Native Voice listeners. Hopefully, soon Native Voices WDBX host John Rivera will have his own blog!

The Migrant Technology Center in Cobden, IL, just came on-line with their own blog, TechnoCentro. Please check back as they add more on their activities and students' stories and photos.

This is just a small list of blogs....that I often read and use in my classes and for my own education

Native American Netroots a forum for Native American issues
Pretty Bird Woman House a women's shelter-education program at Standing Rock Reservation--this shelter burned down in 2007 and through blog stories/appeals raised $70,000+ to rebuild their shelter. See their story here and at Native American Netroots.
Migra Matters progressive immigration reform
Race Wire the blog of Colorlines magazine
Culturekitchen dissent served fresh daily
New America Media expanding news lens through ethnic media
The Unapologetic Mexican need I say more? incredible graphics-analysis
Citizen Orange prosocial justice-immigration
La Chola brown feminist power
WOC Ph.D most recently has included profiles of powerful women academics-activist of color--Asian, African-American, Native American among others.

Most newspapers have their own check the listings for your favorite newspapers, magazines, etc. as well as most social justice organizations.

Finally you can also access many radio-media sources via the web and streaming content such as WDBX 91.1, streaming url

Or favorite artists' websites/blogs, for example, John Rivera's recent guest, Robert Mirabal, Taos Pueblo or one of John's favorites, Joy Harjo Eagle

Nari Jibon Project: Three Years of Alternative Skills to Women

cross-pointed on Bangladesh from Our View

Shuvo Jonno Din ba Happy Birthday to Nari Jibon Project! Three years ago on 1 March 2005, the Nari Jibon Project (women's lives) opened to provide alternative skills to disadvantaged urban women in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Three Fulbright fellows and Bangladeshi staff provided low cost classes in Bangla, tailoring, English, and computers in a cramped one flat space (for our herstory, see the Nari Jibon website). Nari Jibon has now expanded to three flats and more offerings such as three levels of English, more computer classes with broadband access (including repair-graphics-photography-video), and also a website, nari only cyber cafe, tailoring shop, and research cell. Since June 2007 and thanks to a small grant from Global-Rising Voices, Nari Jibon also has two blogs in English and Bangla, which have been read by over 13,000 readers. You can read a Rezwan's recent overview of the blogs and spring in Bangladesh.

Many of our students have gone on to develop their own businesses, improve their salaries from literacy in Bangla and skills, jobs in offices and NGOs, and pursue their higher education with computer and improved skills in English and Bangla speaking, writing, and reading. To learn more about our students and their lives, photographs, and videos, please scroll through the Nari Jibon blog and website.

My thanks go out to the Nari Jibon Project staff and thousands of students who have passed through our doors for various studies. May they have learned many different skills that they have used in their lives, families, income generation, and continued education. Thanks to all our donors and supporters for your time and generosity.

Alas, we still need your support for Nari Jibon's continued success and programme. If you are interesting in donatiing time or funds, please contact me and/or go to where you can learn what your donation can provide, more success stories and download a donation form for cheque donations to Give2Asia and/or contribute by credit card Give2Asia Foundation for the Nari Jibon Project (tax deductible in USA and Canada permitted by law).

If you are in the Carbondale, IL, USA area, you can attend a Women's History month performance by The Composters, the wonderful feminist oral-media performance duo on 21 March 2008, 8 pm, LongBranch Coffeehouse, West Jackson Street. Donations will go to Nari Jibon Project.

You can follow the pithy advice & adventures of avid Composters Glenda Greenhouse & Mary Mercury as they perform sustainably in their Compostthis! blog. They have also been featured in Spring 2008, Bitch Magazine.

You can also hear me discuss Nari Jibon and blogging on WDBX Radio, 91.1, "Native Voices" radio programme, on Sunday, 2 March, 1:00-1:30pm (central standard time) streaming url, Here, you can read more on blogs and weblinks that I discuss on this program.

I will also appear on the "Big Muddy Media" radio programme, which will be broadcast on the same station/streaming url from 9-9:30am (central standard) on Wednesday, 5 March 2008. On the Rising Voices blogsite, you can hear me discuss the benefits of blogging for Bangladeshi women via an interview segment on mp3.

I hope that all will have some misti (sweets) in honor of Nari Jibon's birthday as well as some fair trade chocolate-tea-coffee on International Women's Day, 8 March 2008.