By Brandi Collins, Center for Media Justice
“The media reform movement is born out of civil rights struggles – from abolitionist newspapers that told the stories of the disenfranchised, to challenges to broadcast licenses. There is a long history of using media to impact the way the world sees our communities and to leverage opportunities for social sustainable change.“
Chancellar Williams, FreePress – Internet Freedom Strategy Meeting
This week social justice advocates from around the country are gathering for the fifth annual Knowledge Exchange. Knowledge Exchange was created to strengthen the effectiveness and impact of media justice and reform movements through presentations, working groups, and meetings with government officials.
This also marks the official launch of Black Voices for Internet Freedom, the sister organization to Latinos for Internet Freedom. In anticipation of the launch, Freepress and the Center for Media Justice hosted an Internet Freedom Strategy Meeting in Washington DC with black and Latino leaders. All of the organizations come to the table with varying levels of engagement and experience within the Internet freedom and equity movement. The conversation started with one question:
What does Internet freedom mean to you?
“Being free to be included – being able to participate in the decisions that directly impact me and my community.”
“Believing in what was once seen as impossible – opening up access that may not have been there before.”
“Expanding our vision of how we see the world.”
“Transformation to a more human and just society”
“A Different concept of communication.”
The answers showed all of us that Internet freedom can mean similar or radically different things to different people and organizations. But by the end of the day one thing was apparent: we all gathered here in DC because we value Internet freedom and what that does and could potentially mean for our respective organizations and social justice platforms.
This week and beyond as we craft a new vision for movement building and Internet freedom, we are taking the next step forward in a long history of utilizing multimedia communications for long-term transformative social change.