As someone who is committed to media justice and open access to technology for all — and a competent communications designer with a tiny bit of free time — I have been donating about five hours of media work a week to *non-funded* activist and cultural organizations. I get to collaborate, learn about the amazing work being done and help folks get their messages out. Win-win.
Over the summer, that meant working with Philly Stands Up – a radical anti-violence group who uses transformative justice models to work with purpotrators of sexual assault. Their work is fierce so they needed to move from the free blog they had to a website in order to control the content [free=ads] and showcase the papers, organzing and upcoming action camp they are preparing.
Part of my mandate is to empower people to control their own media/means of production rather than take over and leave folks confused, so I met with PSU folks to pick a template, customize it, create a header, determine what kinds of pages and content they wanted to develop; and then we moved on to a skillshare on how to use accessible software to add the content they already had from their blog into the template pages I built. I think it’s coming along but I don’t believe they’re done — editing and choosing content is a *lot* of work!
This September, I worked with the amazing crew of Work Hard/Stay Hard to refresh the office, archives and website at IDA — thats for Idyll Dandy Acres — a collectively-owned-and-run queer farm/retreat land in rural Tennessee. It’s hard to explain how a committedly urban lady like myself was drawn there, so lets just say there is a magic to the warmth and welcoming of the community there that inspires one to give back.
I worked with the Office/Media team and IDA residents to determine what from the last website should stay and what new information needed to be included. You can now donate to IDA from the navigation, and there is legacy space prepared to showcase the work of the Archive crew in digitizing hours of VHS and piles of posters and newspapers!
It’s been a really satisfying few months; and while my plate is a bit full for the fall, I’m looking forward to the new collaborations that will come my way in the winter…and keep dreaming the dream I have about getting a grant so I could donate this kind of work FULL TIME!! Sigh…