I was honored and excited to receive Spelman College’s invitation to participate in the Digital Doyennes: Wisdom from the Women who Lead in Social Media and Digital Innovation. Why? That’s a no brainer for me because Spelman embodies digital sisterhood, the feminine currency women use to create relationship wealth through the connections they make, conversations they have, communities they build, causes they support, collaborative partnerships they establish, and commerce they engage in with women they meet online and offline.
Since 2008, I have been researching women in social media (for my next book project Digital Sisterhood, a memoir) and tracking the unique ways Spelman uses social media and technology to promote its mission, academic programs, research, students, professors, alumni, social justice efforts, and community activities. What I learned is Spelman has become a social media and technology trailblazer for women of color! As an institution, it uses a wide an array of social media tools including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, blogs, ezines, and webcasts.
Guess what tool is a big hit at Spelman? Twitter. Spelman’s Admissions Office, academic programs like the Music Department, LEADS program, Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development, Museum of Fine Art, Digital Moving Image Salon, women of color conference, Sisters Chapel, Alumnae Affairs office, alumnae association and chapters, and student organizations such as the Student Government Association and Spotlight newspaper use it. Recently, Spelman President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum joined the Spelman Twitter bandwagon.
Technology also plays a major role at Spelman. In October 2010, AT&T announced Spelmanites Jonecia Keels and Jazmine Miller won the 2010 AT&T Big Mobile on Campus Challenge with their HBCU Buddy, a mobile application created to educate and inform users about Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States. Keels and Miller received $5,000 each, a mobile device of their choice, a lifetime development license for Spelman, and all-expense paid trips to the AT&T Higher Ed Board of Advisors meeting and the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.
Did you know Spelman is located in Atlanta, the second most socially networked city in the United States according to Men’s Health (DC was ranked first — had to give my city a shout out)? Men’s Health published its socially networked city rankings in March. The Atlanta metropolitan area is also home to a dynamic blogging community of women including:
- Shameeka Ayers a/k/a The Broke Socialite and 2010 Digital Sister of the Year,
- Jennifer Hutcheson of Mami 2 Mommy,
- Carla Schwartz of Decorativity,
- Andrea Amir of The Smart Money Chicks,
- Bessie Winn-Afeku of The Fab Do Gooder,
- Renee Ross of Cutie Booty Cakes,
- Akilah S. Richards of Execumama,
- Denene Millner of My Brown Baby,
- Jennae Petersen of Green Your Decor,
- Lauren Thomas of Digital After Shock,
- Sherelle Kirkland Andrews of FunkiDivaGirl,
- Swarthy Daisy of The Swarthy Suite,
- Inez Powell of Inside the Life of a Black Latina Yogini
- Trina Love Abram of Your Yoga Place, and
- Lauren Brown Jarvis of The Renaissance Report (there are plenty more women!).
Social media savvy women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses such as Clutch Magazine/Sutton New Media LLC founder Deanna Sutton, Tyler New Media co-founder Ronnie Tyler, Jacqui Chew, Latoicha Givens, Shannon Nash, Jonnice Slaughter, the Blog Rollers, and Everywhere are located in the “ATL.” Several key conferences such as Blogging While Brown, Blogalicious, and lavish! were held there too.
While I am in Atlanta, I will get to see my attorney, best friend, and Howard University School of Law classmate Lauren Medlock Smith, founder of Catch the Verve, LLC. Lauren is currently serving as the sponsorship chair for Women in Film & Television Atlanta, a co-sponsor of the Digital Doyennes event.
I also hope to spend time with my digital sister and fellow Heart of Haiti tripster Danica Kombol, a managing and founding partner of Everywhere, another co-sponsor of the Digital Doyennes event.
So now you can see why coming to Spelman and Atlanta in April is a digital sisterhood dream come true!