Embracing Your Digital Citizenship at Blogger Week Unconference

Blogger Week Networking Event at UDC held on May 1, 2015
Blogger Week Networking Event at UDC held on May 1, 2015

Happy Saturday,

Today, I’m leading a session on “Embracing Your Digital Citizenship” at the Blogger Week Unconference organized by Black Bloggers Connect. My session will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Impact Hub, 419 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC (in Chinatown by the Gallery Place Metro Station).

During my one-hour session, you will receive tips on ways to define and express your digital citizenship. You will also participate in a group discussion that documents digital citizenship best practices and provides feedback on White House Chief Digital Officer (CDO) Jason Goldman’s #socialcivics. Here are several resources to read before the session.

My Session Summary

Just in case you are unable to attend my session, I have included a summary of my talking points below. May they encourage and inspire you to define, embrace, and demonstrate your digital citizenship as well as engage with your local and national communities and governments, the White House, and CDO Jason Goldman (@Goldman44 – tweet Jason about your #socialcivics ideas — he’s listening!).


The yoga teacher in me cannot resist sharing a digital wellness moment at the beginning of my talks and workshop sessions. Here’s a taste of what I will share today.

Photo Credit: http://thehealthylivinglounge.com
Photo Credit: http://thehealthylivinglounge.com

The digital wellness exercise will focus on deep breathing. When you breathe intentionally and deeply, you invite yourself into the present moment. The more you breathe intentionally and deeply, the more open you become to PEACE.  When you have PEACE, you are free to IMAGINE. Your imagination helps you DREAM. Your dreams help you CREATE and INSPIRE others in your blog and life.

Find a comfortable seated position in your chair. Come to the edge of your chair and place your feet flat on the floor. If you are wearing glasses or shoes, take them off to relax. Create hip width distance in between your legs. Take a deep breath through your nose and exhale it through your mouth. Notice how you feel. Now do it SEVEN more times. As you exhale, release or pause any thoughts or to do lists you carried with you into this moment. To learn more about creating a digital wellness plan, click here for tips.


In 2013, I penned Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online, a book that discusses how the Internet influenced my career, community service efforts, creativity, and work as the founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network. During my book tour, I gave a talk about the importance of digital citizenship at Spelman College’s Women Interactive conference that encouraged people to explore how they could marry their passionate interests with their digital presence to inform and inspire others to support causes and programs in their local and national communities.

Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
White House French Arrival Ceremony, February 2014 - Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch
White House French Arrival Ceremony, February 2014 – Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch

Following my own counsel, I decided to apply to participate in the White House Social events to demonstrate my support of President Barack Obama’s policies and programs in 2014. The White House selected me to serve as a social media leader for the State of the Union, French Arrival Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande, and Tumblr Q&A session on education and college affordability. The U.S. Department of State invited me to serve in a similar capacity during the International Women of Courage Award Ceremony.

wpid-fb_img_1430541168621.jpgThese experiences inspired me to launch the Digital Citizenship Project (DCP), an online initiative that encourages individuals to marry their passionate interests and digital presence to support campaigns, causes, events, ideas, movements, policies, programs, and values that build awareness and community, create positive change, and promote social good. Last July, I established Digital Citizenship Month.


How do you define Digital Citizenship?

Here’s my definition: marrying your passionate interests and digital presence to support campaigns, causes, events, ideas, movements, policies, programs, and values that build awareness and community, create positive change, and promote social good.


1) Identify your passion and interests.

2) Find causes and campaigns that connect you to your passion and interests.

I am passionate about inspiring creative expression and healthy living. My passion motivates me to use my digital citizenship to support causes, campaigns, events, businesses, organizations, policies, and programs that celebrate and promote the arts, communities of color, creativity, digital communications, education, fitness, President and First Lady Obama, White House, Reiki healing touch, social good, social justice, Washington, DC, women and girls, world travel, social media, technology, and yoga.

3) Launch and support causes and campaigns that improve the quality of life for people in your local, regional, national, and international communities.

Photo Credit: BlackLivesMatter.com
Photo Credit: BlackLivesMatter.com
Photo Credit: Mario Armstrong
Photo Credit: Mario Armstrong

Here are several examples.

  • #BlackLivesMatter was launched in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murder and is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates American society.
  • Mario Armstrong’s #More4Bmore campaign was launched this week in response to the social unrest that occurred after the recent police brutality incidents in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Armstrong’s campaign is using social media to recruit creatives, doers, problem solvers, writers, leaders AND ANYONE wanting to be a part of creative solutions in Baltimore.
  • DC Mayor Muriel Bowser established the #IWishUKnew campaign on May 1 to foster a robust conversation with DC residents on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Mayor Bowser and her administration are using this social media campaign to encourage DC residents to answer the question: What is it that you want people to know about you that they don’t know? Examples include: I wish you knew that my parents are worried that they will lose our house;  I wish you knew that I am nervous that I won’t be able to find a job; and I wish you knew that I am scared when I wait for the bus at night. I really like what the Mayor stated in her May 1st newsletter, “Engagement is the first step towards empowerment and that’s why your voice is so important. I want you to know that I am listening, we are listening, and we want you to share what we all need to know.”
Photo Credit: DC.gov
Photo Credit: DC.gov

4) Participate in local government events and document your participation on your blog and social media.

In January, I used my digital presence to document the Inauguration of DC Mayor Bowser. I also documented the February open house event hosted by the Mayor’s Office of African Affairs,


February open house hosted by the Mayor's Office of African Affairs
February open house hosted by the Mayor’s Office of African Affairs

5) Build community.

Jessica Mitchell used her digital presence to build community by establishing Black Blogger Network in 2010, Black Bloggers Connect in 2011, and Blogger Week Unconference in 2014.


I have built community among women in social media and technology through the Digital Sisterhood Network, Digital Sisterhood Month (December), and My #DigitalSisterhood Community Is.


6) Inspire and encourage.

Use your blog, social media, and web site to share empowering and inspirational messages. Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network does a great job of sharing messages.

Photo Credit: OWN Network
Photo Credit: OWN Network

7) Educate and share information.

I use my passion for yoga and training as a yoga teacher to share health-related information.


8) Blog and post positive social media status updates about local businesses you patronize in your local community.

9) Celebrate local, state, national, and international holidays and observances to raise awareness about issues you care about.

I celebrate many women-centered holidays and observances online.



10) Engage in #socialcivics with the White House and Federal Government.

The White House sponsors #WHSocials, #WHMeetups, and online events each year to engage American citizens. Visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/social to learn more about the in-person events. Subscribe to the White House blog to stay informed about online events.


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