Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Digital Citizenship Project Radio Series Features #IWOC Women Social Media Leaders

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

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.

#IWOC Women Social Media Leaders at State Department on 3/4/14 -- Photo Credit: Katie Kaestner
#IWOC Women Social Media Leaders at State Department on 3/4/14 — Photo Credit: Katie Kaestner

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.

International Women of Courage 2014 Awardees and FLOTUS Michelle Obama -- Photo Credit: State.gov
International Women of Courage 2014 Awardees and FLOTUS Michelle Obama — Photo Credit: State.gov

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)

Click here to read their full biographies.

FLOTUS Michelle Obama and the #IWOC Social Media Leaders - Photo Credit: State.gov
FLOTUS Michelle Obama and the #IWOC Social Media Leaders – Photo Credit: State.gov

We all agreed that meeting First Lady Michelle Obama was a powerful moment and game changer in our lives!

#IWOC Women Social Media Leaders met with U.S. Department of State's Global Women's Issues staff
#IWOC Women Social Media Leaders met with U.S. Department of State’s Global Women’s Issues staff

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.

Happy Fierce Living Friday: Being Surrounded by Fierce Living Women

Happy Fierce Living Friday!

This week I have been surrounded by many Fierce Living women. The way they live their lives and the work they do inspire me. I have included photos of several Fierce Living women below.

Who are the Fierce Living women that inspire you?

International Women of Courage 2014 Awardees and FLOTUS Michelle Obama -- Photo Credit: State.gov
International Women of Courage 2014 Awardees and FLOTUS Michelle Obama — Photo Credit: State.gov

The 10 women who were named 2014 International Women of Courage (#IWOC) by the U.S. Department of State on March 4 and First Lady Michelle Obama are Fierce Living women in my life. The #IWOC awardees 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) *To be 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)

Click here to read their full biographies. To learn more about #IWOC, check out my Pinterest board of resources.

FLOTUS Michelle Obama and the #IWOC Social Media Leaders - Photo Credit: State.gov
FLOTUS Michelle Obama and the #IWOC Social Media Leaders – Photo Credit: State.gov

First Lady Michelle Obama has always been a Fierce Living woman in my life. Meeting her in person at the #IWOC Award Ceremony was an incredible experience.

Meeting, talking to, and working with my fellow #IWOC social media leaders Kelsey Glover, Salma Bahramy, Jen Charlton, Erin Dunne, Laila Alawa, and Katie Kaestner during the Award Ceremony and meetings with State Department officials gave me a chance to witness how fierce these ladies are. After one day together, they became Fierce Living women in my life!

Author Emily Parker at New America Foundation event
Author Emily Parker at New America Foundation event

On March 4, I attended the New America Foundation’s event featuring a conversation with Emily Parker, author of Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground. Listening to Parker discuss her experiences with political activists who blog and use social media in the midst of government imposed restrictions on free speech brought back memories of my own trips to Beijing, China and Havana, Cuba. As I listened to her share her experiences with Cuban online activists, I thought of one of my Cuban digital diva sheroes, Yoani Sanchez, a blogger activist and author of Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth about Cuba Today. During the question and answer period, I asked Parker about her interactions with Sanchez. Her comments about Sanchez revealed a deep passion and commitment to telling stories that might not otherwise get told. In that moment, she became a Fierce Living woman in my life.

Me and Dartmouth Professor and Author Ella Bell Smith at the Center for American Progress Action Fund
Me and Dartmouth Professor and Author Ella Bell Smith at the Center for American Progress Action Fund

Today I attended the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Blind Spots and Double Binds: The Leadership Issues for Women of Color forum. I attended the forum to hear what Dartmouth Professor Elle L.J. Bell Smith had to say about women of color and leadership. Professor Bell has been one of my Fierce Living sheroes for several years. After the forum, I had a chance to meet and talk with her one-on-one. What a Fierce Living moment!

My Fierce Living mentor and friend Toni Dunton-Butler, Founder of A Silver Thread, Inc. (in all black outfit) at Center for American Progress Action Fund
My Fierce Living mentor and friend Toni Dunton-Butler, Founder of A Silver Thread, Inc. (in all black outfit) at Center for American Progress Action Fund

During the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s event, I sat next to Toni Dunton-Butler, Founder/President of A Silver Thread, Inc. Toni has known me since I was in high school. She has been a Fierce Living mentor and friend for numerous years. Spending time with her at the event and having a juicy lunch chat reminded me how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many Fierce Living women.

Photo Credit: State.gov
Photo Credit: State.gov

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. It is a day to honor Fierce Living women all over the world. One way you can do that is by participating in the State Department’s Instagram and Twitter #WeAreCourage campaign. All you need to do is post a photo of your woman of courage with the hashtag #WeAreCourage.

Headed to the U.S. Department of State’s 3/4 #IWOC #StateMeetup

Photo Credit: State.gov
Photo Credit: State.gov

Greetings All,

I am celebrating National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day today by attending the #StateMeetup for the International Women of Courage (#IWOC) Award Ceremony which will be hosted by Deputy Secretary Higginbottom and First Lady Michelle Obama. Ten amazing women from around the globe will be honored for their exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk.

  • 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) *To be 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)

Click here to read their full biographies. To learn more about #IWOC, check out my Pinterest board of resources.

After the Ceremony, I will attend a private policy briefing with a State Department official about U.S. engagement on international women’s issues.

Photo Credit: Twitter.com
Photo Credit: Twitter.com

I’ll be live tweeting about the event and sharing photos, podcasts, and videos from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, and VoiceBo (podcast). I’ll post a blog recap of my adventures and lessons learned later this week.

Click here to watch the State Department’s live coverage of the #IWOC Award Ceremony at 11:30 AM EST. Follow @StateDept on Twitter and use the hashtags #IWOC to participate in the conversation.