Give & Learn
For the next few weeks, NJCASA will be sharing content related to our upcoming Creating Transformative Spaces Conference (Nov 30th and Dec 1st)
For this week’s Give and Learn, The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault is exploring the topic of building community activism in online spaces. Grassroots organizing and community building have a dynamic new platform with social media. Understanding the history of grassroots organizing and the shift to digital platforms is essential to creating transformative spaces online, with topics that include being personal, building relationships, setting boundaries, leading with survivorship, promoting accessibility, and more.
Learn more about building community activism in online spaces below and by attending our Creating Transformative Spaces Conference. And remember, to contribute to NJCASA’s work in supporting survivors of sexual violence and building safer, more empowered communities across New Jersey, please donate to us on Giving Tuesday, November 29th! We’re grateful for your support and collaboration!
Building community activism in online spaces
In her book, Reclaiming Our Space — How Black Feminists are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets, Feminista Jones examines the evolution of Black Feminism, from Sojourner Truth to current day Black activism in the digital age. Focusing on the ways that online spaces have the potential to disrupt hierarchies and promote inclusivity, Jones charts how Black feminists are building communities across social media, tackling topics like race, class, gender and sexual identity, and more.
The use of virtual spaces as realms of engagement and social activism across sectors has increased in recent years, with large social movements like the Black Lives Matter Movement demonstrating the power that digital platforms like Instagram and Twitter have in mobilizing advocates and enacting change. With many “transformative” communities evolving and intersecting in this sphere, it’s easy for those of us in the anti-sexual violence movement to find a “virtual home” within these places of action, healing, and support. There are even opportunities to create your own community, both as individuals and as agencies committed to upending systems of oppression. However, recognizing that these spaces are often being used by individuals with marginalized identities to access information and organize, we have a serious responsibility to one another as we develop and inhabit them.
Taking lessons from our allies at The Soar Collective—whose mission is to mobilize advocates and demand accountability to revolutionize the way anti-violence organizations operate—we acknowledge the work that must go into to ensuring that these spaces thrive. Some key strategies include prioritizing accessibility—such as using visual descriptors–supporting and resharing posts and events, and creating opportunities for engagement. Together, these approaches will help promote participation, inclusion, and respect. So, whether you’re creating your own digital space to uplift other advocates or visiting the pages of advocates and groups whose messaging speaks to you, know that these resources can provide support and collaboration to those in the movement, as well as a chance to envision the way as we want to do this work both on and offline.
To learn more, join us on Day-One of Creating Transformative Spaces for our workshop entitled “Digital Strategies for Grassroots Organizing: Social Media and Community in the Anti-Sexual Violence Movement.”
And support our work by making a donation now and/or on Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2022