Today I am sharing a Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project profile featuring Danyell Taylor, a social media leader, I met while attending the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the French Arrival Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande in February.
I am a Communications Specialist at the Council of the Great City Schools, a nonprofit organization that focuses on education legislation. I’m from Plano, Texas, and currently live in Washington, DC. To stay updated on my social media adventures, follow me on Twitter: @IDreamInChanel.
2) Why did you apply to participate in the #WHSocial?
I love all things Parisian and volunteer with Alliance Francaise. I saw the #WHSocial as an opportunity to expand my cultural knowledge and social media influence.
3) Share the key moments you experienced while participating in the #WHSocial.
My key moments included:
Seeing school-age children vying to get a look at President Barack Obama.
Watching the 21-gun salute.
Being close enough to hear and see President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Attending the #WHSocial Meetup Happy Hour at the Old Ebbitt Grill and discussing our stroll down digital memory lane.
4) What social media tools did you use to support your participation in the #WHSocial?
Instagram and Twitter
5) Did you learn any lessons while participating in the #WHSocial?
Anything is possible. I can expand my digital knowledge both personally and professionally.
6) What does digital citizenship mean to you?
Digital citizenship is learning and using online tools to explain and comprehend American and global culture, norms, and politics.
7) How are you planning to stay engaged as a digital citizen?
I plan to stay engaged through mainstream newspapers and their digital presence.
8) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level.
Share your concerns, questions, revelations, and insights with your network.
Grow in your knowledge and don’t except the status quo in life, religion or politics.
Be curious about the world outside of your block, city, state, and country of origin.
On Sunday, I hosted the Ananda Leeke Show’s Digital Citizenship Project series featuring women social media leaders Erin Dunne, Kelsey Glover, and Katie Kaestner. We discussed our recent participation in the U.S. Department of State’s Meetup for the International Women of Courage (#IWOC) Award Ceremony on March 4. Click here to listen to the audio recording.
During the show, we gave a special shout out to our fellow women social media leaders who were unable to join the discussion: Laila Alawa, Salma Bahramy, and Jen Charlton.
We also discussed how inspired we were by the 10 #IWOC awardees who were honored for their exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk. See list of #IWOC awardees below.
Dr. Nasrin Oryakhil, Director, Malalai Maternity Hospital Kabul (Afghanistan)
Ms. Roshika Deo, Feminist and Political Activist, Be the Change Campaign (Fiji)
Bishop Rusudan Gotsiridze, Bishop, Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia (Georgia)
Dr. Iris Yassmin Barrios Aguilar, Tribunal President, High Risk Court (Guatemala)
Laxmi, Campaigner, Stop Acid Attacks (India)
Ms. Fatimata Touré, Etude, de Formation Femme-Action (Mali)
Dr. Maha Al Muneef, Founder and Executive Director, National Family Safety Program (Saudi Arabia) *Awarded in absentia
Ms. Oinikhol Bobonazarova, Director, NGO Perspektiva Plus (Tajikistan)
Ms. Ruslana Lyzhychko, Activist and Pop Artist (Ukraine)
Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa, Human Rights Lawyer (Zimbabwe)
We all agreed that meeting First Lady Michelle Obama was a powerful moment and game changer in our lives!
Our face-to-face discussions with staff from the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (GWI) and Bureau of Public Affairs (BPA) gave us an inside view of how the staff makes things happen in their daily work. We met with Irene Marr from the Office of GWI; Moira Whelan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Digital Strategy in the BPA; Vinay Chawla, Director of Digital Engagement in the BPA; and Hannah Lyons, Public Affairs Specialist in the BPA. To learn more about the #IWOC event and awardees, check out my Pinterest board of resources.
Today, my Digital Sister Janet Johnson sent me a Facebook email about the U.S. Department of State’s application for social media leaders to attend the International Women of Courage #StateMeetup on March 4 in Washington, DC. I met Janet while attending the White House State of the Union Social in January (see photo above where Janet is wearing a red sweater). Through several conversations, we discovered we share a passion for digital citizenship. I am deeply grateful to her for sharing the #StateMeetup information. Her act of sharing represents #DigitalSisterhood and the power of promoting Digital Citizenship (#digcitizen)!!!!
#StateMeetups were created to expand the Department of State’s engagement efforts by inviting social media leaders to attend in-person meetings and engage with the Department through Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and other social media channels.
About the International Women of Courage (IWOC) #StateMeetup
The IWOC Awards was created in 2007 to honor women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights and women’s equality. While in the United States, awardees participate in the International Visitors Leadership exchange program where they get to meet with their U.S. counterparts and leaders.
Social media leaders will attend the IWOC Award Ceremony, hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry with special guest First Lady Michelle Obama, at the Department of State on March. They will also participate in a policy briefing with a Department official about international women’s issues. I encourage you to apply to participate in the #StateMeetup. Visit www.state.gov/social for more information. The deadline is February 26 (today) at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Excerpt from Chapter Four: A Game Changer: Beijing Women’s Conference
One of the benefits of following my heart and living my life passionately in Beijing was meeting women from all over the world. During the NGO Forum’s opening ceremony, I sat with a group of women from Brazil, India, Kenya, Korea, the Netherlands, Russia, Senegal, and Zimbabwe. As the ceremony ended, we stood together and sang Pat Humphies song, “Keep on Moving Forward.” Five lines from that song became my mantra and helped me fully embrace my conference experience as a series of life-changing adventures.
“Gonna keep on walking forward Keep on walking forward Keep on walking forward Never turning back Never turning back”
One of those life-changing adventures happened when I heard former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton give her famous “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” speech which included the following remarks:
“Those of us who have the opportunity to be here have the responsibility to speak for those who could not.
We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That’s why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, it is that human rights – and women’s rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely – and the right to be heard.”
Clinton’s words echoed what was in my heart, gave me a clearer understanding of why I was in Beijing, and helped shape my digital path. They came to life when I visited a conference art exhibit organized by the Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA), a national member organization of multidisciplinary and multicultural artists, art historians, students, educators, and museum professionals. While I was there, I struck up a conversation with several WCA artists who were overseeing the exhibit. We talked about WCA’s role as a NGO and founding member of the Feminist Art Project, the conference, their careers, and my life as a budding artist. Before we parted, they gave me their business cards and encouraged me to visit the WCA web site and join the D.C. Chapter.
Walking with Sharon into the NGO Forum’s Internet Café was another life changing adventure. It marked the first time I saw a diverse group of women sitting at computers. My face lit up with a smile as I realized how powerful women could be with Internet access. They were free to speak their minds, discuss their concerns, share information, build community, create web sites and coalitions to address their concerns, and launch advocacy campaigns that defied geographical boundaries. They were demonstrating what Clinton said in her speech: “Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely – and the right to be heard.”
Today marks the launch of the Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project’s profile series featuring social media leaders who participated in the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the State of the Union (#SOTUSocial) and French Arrival Ceremony.
6) Did you learn any lessons while participating in the #SOTUSocial?
Social media is here to stay, so it is best to embrace it and learn how to use it.
Take a look at Twitter to see some really cool work being done in the field of digital diplomacy.
7) What does digital citizenship mean to you?
Digital citizenship means using social media to engage with others about serious topics (i.e. policy), whether it is with a friend or an elected official. It also entails sharing information with others so that they can be involved in the public sphere.
8) How are you planning to stay engaged as a digital citizen?
I’m comfortable right now using primarily Twitter and my blog to stay engaged, and that I do not currently plan on using any other major social media platforms.
9) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level.
Tweet to elected officials about an issue.
Participate in Twitter chats with government agencies.
PS: The first #digcitizen Twitter chat will be held on Tuesday, February 25 at 9:30 p.m. EST (one hour). The topic is “Lessons Learned from #SOTUSocial and #WHSocial.” Follow me on @anandaleeke and use the #digcitizen hashtag.
Today, I am using my blog to send a Digital Citizenship Valentine to the White House (WH), WH Office of Digital Strategy staff and interns, and my fellow social media leaders who participated in the #WHSocial French Arrival Ceremony for President Francois Hollande on February 11.
The Office of Digital Strategy uses digital media to promote President Barack Obama’s agenda and policies. Through its efforts, the American people have been given an opportunity to do three things:
To see what’s happening at the WH on a daily basis via WhiteHouse.gov and WH social media channels.
To engage President Obama, WH officials, and other policy makers in conversation about the future of our great nation through WhiteHouse.gov Live events, Town Halls, Facebook and Twitter chats, and Google Hangouts.
To express their digital citizenship by making comments and asking questions on WH social media channels, sharing and discussing what they learn with their digital network, and creating their own WH-related content to engage their network.
Four years ago, the Office of Digital Strategy began inviting Americans who serve as social media influencers and leaders in their online networks to participate in face-to-face Tweet Ups and #WHSocial events that support the State of the Union, Town Halls, and other WH events. The social media influencers and leaders have been able to expand the WH’s public outreach efforts. Their efforts reach many more Americans who get their news from social media. They have also worked to breakdown the barriers between the U.S. government and its citizens. Together with the Office of Digital Strategy, they are helping to make the Obama administration the most accessible and transparent administration in U.S. history.
In January, I was invited as 1 of 60 social media leaders (out of a pool of over 6,000 applicants) to participate in the State of the Union Social. Click here to read about my experience.
A few days after the event, I learned about and applied to participate in the #WHSocial French Arrival Ceremony. To my surprise, I was selected to attend the event as 1 of 100 social media leaders (out of a pool of 2,500 applicants). Today, I took time to reflect on my experiences and came up with 4 Reasons to Love #WHSocial Events.
1) I love #WHSocial events because they gave me a chance to meet, network, and build community with a diverse group of Americans from all over the country. That’s exactly what I did on Monday night when I organized and hosted a meet up for my fellow social media leaders at the Old Ebbitt Grill.
The next day, I reconnected with my #WHSocial BFFs and made new ones on the South Lawn of the White House, during the briefing with WH staff, and at an impromptu lunch at Cosi’s.
2) I love #WHSocial events because they energized and convinced me to step up my digital citizenship game. Next week, I will begin using my Internet Geek Tuesday blog series to discuss digital citizenship, launch and celebrate Digital Citizenship Month (yep I am creating it) in July to encourage Americans to use their digital presence to get involved and civically engaged at the local and national level, profile #WHSocial leaders and influencers, and discuss WhiteHouse.gov information and WH online engagement efforts.
3) I love #WHSocial events because they inspired me to use all of my social media platforms to get the word out about President Obama’s activities, policies, and programs. I used Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Storify, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine video app, VoiceBo podcast app, and WordPress to share my #WHSocial adventures this week.
Check out my #WHSocial Pinterest board which contains over 50 pins filled with articles, blog posts, videos, and photos that discuss the French President’s State visit.
I really enjoyed creating Vine videos featuring my fellow social media leaders in action as they prepared for the #WHSocial briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Interviewing my fellow social media leaders with the VoiceBo app was a lot of fun. I also enjoyed using it to give updates about my #WHSocial preparation and reflections.
Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter were probably my most favorite social media tools to use while live tweeting during the #WHSocial events.
4) I love #WHSocial events because they gave me an opportunity to meet and talk with WH staff. During the #WHSocial briefing, I asked Kori Schulman, Director of Online Engagement, how the Office of Digital Strategy was leveraging the support of people who have participated in the #WHSocial events. I suggested creating a #WHSocial Ambassador Program. Yesterday, I received an email indicating that a #WHSocial Alumni Program is in the works! And that’s just one more reason to love #WHSocial events!
Next week, I’ll be sharing more about my #WHSocial adventures. So drop by! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day Weekend!
Great News! This morning, I’m headed back to the White House to attend the French Welcoming Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande.
During the Ceremony, President and Mrs. Obama will welcome President Hollande on the South Lawn. I’ll be there covering the event with an amazing group of social media leaders. Follow me as @anandaleeke on Instagram and Twitter and use the #whsocial hashtag to track the conversation and see photos between 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. EST. The Ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m.
I’ll also be participating in the #WHSocial panel discussion with White House officials from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the Old Executive Office Building. The discussion will be live streamed on WhiteHouse.gov.
January 29: The day after the event, I reached out to my fellow social media leaders on LinkedIn. As a result, I received an invitation to meet up with Jason Nellis, OverAchiever Media founder and a DC social media leader I missed meeting at the White House. We agreed to meet in person the following week to discuss our #SOTUSocial experiences.
I also gave my #SOTUSocial digital sisters a special #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday shout out on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter that featured a collage of several women I met during the event.
January 30: The next day I wrote my first blog recap post about being a digital citizen and my journey to the White House, and recorded a podcast that discussed my definition of a digital citizen. I shared the blog post with my social media network and retweeted, shared, and commented on blogs, photos, and tweets by my fellow social media leaders.
I updated my #SOTUSocial Pinterest board with links to the social media leaders’ articles, blogs, and photos. I also visited WhiteHouse.gov and found blog posts and videos to add to the Pinterest board.
February 3: I met Jason at Tynan Coffee & Tea and we recorded a podcast about our #SOTUSocial experience. Click here to listen (3 minutes).
I explored the WhiteHouse.gov blog to see if there were any ways I could deepen my social engagement this week. Guess what I found? A notice inviting social media leaders to apply to attend the White House French Arrival Ceremony Social (#WHSocial) on February 11. Since I am a Francophile (have been since my first French class in high school) and a digital diplomacy fan, I applied. You can too. The deadline is February 5 at 6:00 p.m. EST. Click here for details.
I also wrote a Tumblr blog post about my passion for France and desire to participate in the February 11th #WHSocial where President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome French President François Hollande to the White House.
What’s Next: This week, I’ll be writing blog posts celebrating the dynamic women I met (for Digital Sisterhood Network’s blog), featuring the #SOTUChat highlights, and lessons I learned from the #SOTUSocial.
Did you participate in any State of the Union online activities such as the #SOTUSocial and #SOTUChat?
How did it feel to participate?
Click here to listen to my podcast (5 minutes) that highlights my participation in the State of the Union Social and how it reminded me of the importance of being a digital citizen, a concept I discussed during my talk on digital citizenship, digital sisterhood, and social media leadership at Spelman College’s Women Interactive Conference held in November 2013.
My Definition of Digital Citizen
A digital citizen is a person who uses her or his digital presence to mindfully share information and inspiration. Mindful sharing is thinking before you share your thoughts online and asking yourself if what you are planning to share will be helpful to others.
What is your definition of a digital citizen?
How are you planning to demonstrate your digital citizenship in 2014?
My Journey to the White House
I applied to participate in the State of the Union Social (#SOTUSocial) a few weeks ago. On January 20, I received an email from the White House indicating that I had been selected to develop and curate content, utilize the content to engage online communities, and live tweet at the #SOTUSocial (including the #SOTUChat panel discussion with White House officials and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez after President Obama’s address).
Guess what? Over 6,000 applicants applied to participate in the #SOTUSocial. Only 60 social media leaders were chosen to visit the White House and attend the #SOTUSocial. What an honor to demonstrate my digital citizenship!
Click here to read my blog about my #SOTUSocial Group Tour to the White House (includes photos).
I developed three digital resources (one Pinterest board and two Twitter lists) to prepare for President Obama’s State of the Union address. Click here to read more about them.
This morning, I joined my fellow State of the Union Social attendees for a White House tour. Each of us applied to participate in the State of the Union Social (#SOTUSocial) a few weeks ago. The White House selected us to serve as digital citizens and to use our online presence to develop and curate content, utilize the content to engage online communities, and live tweet at the #SOTUSocial (including the #SOTUChat panel discussion with White House officials and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez after President Obama’s address).
Guess what? Over 6,000 applicants applied to participate in the #SOTUSocial. Only 60 social media leaders were chosen to visit the White House and attend the #SOTUSocial. What an honor to demonstrate our digital citizenship through serving our country and communities with our digital presence!
During the tour, we had a chance to get to know each other. I discovered we are a diverse group of fun, friendly, passionate, and smart social media influencers and professionals, college students, public policy professionals, and teachers. We represented cities like Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; Greensboro, North Carolina; Madison, Wisconsin; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, D.C. Together, we looked and sounded like the America I love.
After the tour and many photos, we walked to Starbucks for an impromptu meet up. I am so glad we spent more time connecting, sharing our experiences, and discussing what we hoped President Obama would highlight in his address.
PS: I developed three digital resources (one Pinterest board and two Twitter lists) to prepare for President Obama’s State of the Union address. Click here to read more about them.
Since it was cold in DC today, I decided to wear what I call a “femme chic” winter warm outfit that came straight from my closet by way of Macy’s Petites (Alfani knit jacket, blouse, and pants).
This week, I am headed to Atlanta to speak at the second annual Women Interactive Creative Technology Conference that will be held at Spelman College on November 9. I am giving a tech talk on “Digital Sisters + Digital Citizens = Social Media Leaders.” My talk is rooted in one word: SERVE. It is an acronym that I call my secret ingredient for being an authentic Digital Sister, Digital Citizen, and Social Media Leader. Check it out below.
•S – SEE yourself as a social media leader. If you have at least one person who follows and/or interacts with you through your blog, web site, and/or social media sites, you have a platform of influence. Your influence impacts people in your online network. That makes you a leader. The moment that you see yourself as a social media leader, you begin to own your identity. Once you own your identity as a social media leader, you are faced with some important choices in how you interact online and offline in your relationships.
•E – EMBRACE digital civility practices in your online and offline interactions and relationships. Digital civility includes being respectful of others, especially in the midst of any disagreements. Treat people the way you would like to be treated.
•R – REMEMBER to UNPLUG from your digital life and practice SELF CARE by creating and following a digital wellness plan. Take breaks from your digital life. It will give you an opportunity to recharge and rest.
•V – VISIT and participate in a diverse group of online and offline communities to broaden your knowledge base and network.
•E – EXPRESS generosity in all you think, say, and do. Give back to others. Your generosity creates social capital in your online and offline relationships. Social capital is that warm, fuzzy feeling or positive impression you create about yourself in people’s hearts and minds. It paves the wave for unexpected blessings that manifest as collaborations, invitations to events, learning opportunities, partnerships, relationships with key people in your local/national/international networks, revenue generating streams, speaking engagements, and other forms of blessings.
Women Interactive is a two-day interactive technology festival for women who produce and share digital content with a special emphasis on women of color. It’s one of my favorite learning opportunities. I attended the festival last year and learned so much. If you are in Atlanta, join me at the event. Click here to register.