In early April, as countries around the world began to implement social distancing measures to protect public health in the face of COVID-19, it became clear that feminists must be equipped with tools for unprecedented levels of virtual organizing. Though we may not be able to gather together around tables or in the streets in the next few months, the work of advocating for a just recovery and resisting repressive responses must continue virtually. As feminists, we must still find ways to build power together online.
There are a great many tools and platforms available to host virtual forums and conferences, collectively write and brainstorm digital media, reach broad audiences online, and more, but there are also a variety of challenges to accessing these tools. The digital divide, as well as lack of information about how to use various platforms that exist, often limit feminists’ (and everyone’s) chances to participate in virtual organizing.
WEDO and our partners at WECF planned a series of three teach-ins for organizing virtual meetings, centered around three kinds of skills to grow together. The recordings of each teach-in are linked below, and we are planning to build these resources out into a comprehensive toolkit with frequently asked questions about virtual tools and how best to utilize them. Look out for it!
Planning Meetings: Accessibility & Methodology
In the first episode of our training series we outlined the different steps that go into planning a virtual meeting and how to grow as an effective facilitator. We also use resources from disability justice work to describe steps you can take to ensure that your virtual meeting is accessible. (Guest speakers: Marine Uldry & Loredana Dicsi, European Disability Forum)
Logistics: Nuts & Bolts of Software
In the second episode of our training series we are exploring a wide range of the online conferencing tools out there, as well as looking into other collaborative tools such as Google Docs and presentations. The second half of the training explored in depth the many settings and functions within Zoom, and how to master them to prevent “zoom-bombing”.
This is the third and last session in our training series on how to host virtual meetings where we looked deeper into the question around “why digital safety”. We look at what are the Feminist Principles of the Internet? How do you use technology for feminist creativity and care? What are some practical steps you can take to be in control of your time engaging online. (Guest speakers: Jennifer Radloff & Erika Smith from Association for Progressive Communication (APC))