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Entries in Digital Media (10)

Tuesday
Nov112014

Protect the Sacred

I'm proud to serve on the board of directors of Honor The Treaties (@honorthetreaties), an organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of Indigenous communities through art and advocacy. The organization was founded by Aaron Huey (@aaronhuey), a National Geographic photographer and a Contributing Editor for Harper's Magazine, to fund and promote collaborations between Native artists and Native advocacy groups so that their messages can reach a wider audience.

In collaboration with artist Shepard Fairey, an American contemporary graphic designer and illustrator of Obey Giant (@obeygiant), Aaron and Shepard are releasing a limited edition series of Protect The Sacred prints to raise funds to support a visual campaign with the same message by dozens of artists across the country. Watch for this message in many forms on billboards, bus stops, and street signs near you soon! Follow @protectthesacred for updates. #ProtectTheSacred #HonorTheTreaties 

I hope you'll consider purchasing one of these prints—now available! Again, all of the funds raised will support a visual campaign with the same message.

Saturday
Nov082014

Rebel Music: Native America

Watch the trailer for Rebel Music's premiere episode on Native America, featuring Frank Waln, Inez Jasper, Mike Cliff a.k.a. "Witko" and Nataanii Means! Follow the lives of four Indigenous musicians and activists as they incite change in their communities through their art. The full episode will premiere exclusively on the MTV Facebook page on Thursday, 11/13/2014 at 4pm EST. Watch at https://www.facebook.com/MTV.

Rebel Education also provides a lesson plan  that focuses on a deeper understanding of some of the key historical events that have shaped the story of indigenous peoples in North America, and offers a fresh perspective through the eyes of a new generation of Native Rebels who are determined to inspire their communities. This curriculum meets Common Core State Standards and is recommended for grades 9-12.

Sunday
Apr202014

Biodiversity Academy

Two of my favorite academies—California Academy of Sciences and Khan Academy—have partnered to produce an online series that investigates the amazing diversity of life on this planet. In the short, informative videos, viewers learn what biodiversity is, why it is important, where it is found, how it comes into existence, how you study it, why it is threatened, and how it can be protected.

Why is Biodiversity Important?
Discover why a high diversity of species sustains ecosystems, which in turn provide important services to humans.

Topics:

  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Ecological interactions
  • Ecological levels: from individuals to ecosystems
  • Ecosystem services
  • Ecosystems and ecological networks
  • Healthy ecosystems

Where is Biodiversity Found?
Explore how life is found almost everywhere on Earth, but is not distributed evenly. And learn why the clumped distributions of species are the result of a wide variety of both natural and human-driven factors.

Topics:

  • Biodiversity distribution patterns
  • Biodiversity Hotspots
  • Extreme life
  • How biodiversity is distributed globally
  • Tolerance ranges of species
  • Why biodiversity is distributed unevenly

How is Biodiversity Studied?
Delve into the history of humanity’s passion to document and display specimens from the natural world and learn how biodiversity expeditions are conducted today.

Topics:

  • Biodiversity analyses and uncertainties
  • Biodiversity analyses and unknowns exploration questions
  • Biodiversity Expeditions Past and Present
  • Biodiversity fieldwork
  • Field Methods for Documenting Biodiversity
  • How much biodiversity do we really know?
  • Studying biodiversity in the lab

The tutorial videos are narrated by Dr. Rich Mooi, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology, and the series includes a variety of supplementary educational materials, such as activities, case studies, community questions, glossaries, and quizzes.

According to the welcome site:

“We chose biodiversity as the focus of our first course with Khan Academy not only because it is so relevant to our institutional mission, but also because biodiversity is literally the stuff of life. It is the diversity of all the species on this planet, the genetic diversity represented by all the individuals, the ecosystem diversity, and the evolutionary lineages represented by all species, living and fossil. Biodiversity is all around us. It is crucial to the quality of our lives and the lives of all other living organisms, but we actually know very little about who all the players are in this pageantry of life, much less the roles they play and the benefits they can and do provide. We do know, however, that we are losing biodiversity at an alarming and unprecedented rate, driven by our own actions that result in habitat loss, pollution, climate change, overfishing and overhunting, to name a few. But it is not all bad news. We are learning more about biodiversity every day, and tremendous advances have been made in protecting and restoring biodiversity in many areas of the world. This course is designed to tell these exciting, amazing, crucial, and at times troubling stories of the diversity of life.

The course is designed for many audiences, including teachers, students, families, youth leaders, policy makers, and anyone interested in learning more about the diversity of life on our planet. We hope that you will not only learn things from the course, but will also be moved to become even more active stewards of the environment and its precious biodiversity.”

All of the video tutorials are wonderful and I especially enjoy the California Case Study, featuring Dr. Rebecca Johnson, my colleague and mentor who trained me as a Rocky Shore Naturalist.

Check it out!

Friday
Aug092013

Honor the Treaties

Today is the United Nations International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples and the theme is "Indigenous people building alliances: Honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements."

Appropriately, today is also the launch of the new website of Honor the Treaties, an innovative organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of Indigenous communities through art and advocacy. Founded by Aaron Huey, National Geographic Photographer and author of Mitakuye Oyasin, the organization funds collaborations between Native artists and Native advocacy groups so that their messages can reach a wider audience.

I'm honored to serve on the Advisory Board of Honor the Treaties to establish a strong partnership with the Lakotamedia Foundation. Together, we are part of a growing movement and of building alliances that honor treaties and other constructive agreements.

We Have A Responsibility

Today, indigenous communities are fighting their most important battles in recent history—battles to protect the integrity of their land and water and traditions. The treaties are at the heart of these battles. Article VI, Clause 2 of the US Constitution, also known as the Supremacy Clause, lists these treaties as the "supreme law of the land."

These legally binding contracts contained promises that recognized tribes' rights to live self-governed and undisturbed on their own land, with religious freedom; to hunt, fish, and gather natural resources; and to have benefits such as healthcare, education, and in some cases financial payments for lands previously sold to the government. These treaties, on a daily basis, are being violated.

This is not a closed chapter in history. This is a living issue. You can make it visible. You can teach it. You can join the fight. We have a responsibility to honor the treaties, honor the earth, and honor one another.

Artistic Activism

Checkout this Ted Talk by Aaron, America's Native Prisoners of War, based on his experiences photographing poverty in America, which led him to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. There, the struggle of the native Lakota people—appalling, and largely ignored—compelled him to refocus.

Saturday
Jun152013

Philámayaye! Thank you!

Digital Media and Learning Competition!

Thanks to our supporters, we placed 8th out of 266 applicants from 41 sates + DC to the Digital Media and Learning Competition with with 300+ votes! We now wait until early July 2013 to know if we will be selected as a winner. The competition brings together youth, programmers, designers, and educators to develop prototypes for social tools, including apps, badges, and curriculum in pursuit of a better Web.

Our Proposal: Lakota Labs

A $10,000 grant will allow us to host Lakota Labs, a weeklong summer youth technology learning labratory at the Oyate Community Center at Lakota Homes, a public housing project in Rapid City, South Dakota. 

Our Mission

The mission of the Lakotamedia Foundation is to share Siouan knowledge and traditions through digital, mobile, and social media. Lakotamedia is exploring how 21st Century technologies are changing the way Sioux people connect, learn, socialize, and participate in tribal life.

Monday
Jun102013

Vote for the Lakotamedia Foundation!

The mission of the Lakotamedia Foundation is to share Siouan knowdge and traditions via digital, mobile, and social media. We have applied for a $10,000 grant from the MacArhur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition

VOTE FOR US!

A $10,000 grant will allow us to host Lakota Labs, a weeklong summer youth technology lab at the Oyate Community Center at Lakota Homes, a public housing project in Rapid City, South Dakota. Please, read out proposal and vote for us!  It takes two clicks and you can comment if you like. 

Thank you!

Tuesday
Jan082013

MAN

Published on Dec 21, 2012, this animation created by Steve Cutts was created in Flash and After Effects. It looks at man's relationship with the natural world.

Check it out!

Sunday
Dec302012

2012: Year of the American Indian Summer

In most years, an “Indian Summer” describes a heat wave that occurs in the autumn that occurs in the Northern Hemisphere between late September and mid-November. In 2012, however, it could be argued that “Indian Summer” now means something more similar to the “Arab Spring” uprisings that arose independently and spread across the Arab world in 2011.

The “American Indian Summer” wasn’t similar to the “Arab Spring” in that it involved expressions of violence within revolutionary conflicts, but it was similar in its effective use of new media technologies in a variety of coordinated social movements.

2012: the year the American Indian Movement effectively used digital, mobile, and social media technologies.

It’s about time.

Researchers have noted the “digital divide” – inequalities in access to information and communication technologies, as well as inequalities in the knowledge and skills needed to effectively use the information gained from connecting. No doubt, there are geographic and generational barriers to connectivity in American Indian communities, complicating social fragmentation and other disparities.

However, recent events suggest that the American Indian Movement is dramatically different in the 21st Century: it’s no longer institutional, protected by trademarks, or governed by a Grand Council.

Now, it's that and it's digital, mobile, and social. It's open source and open to all!

Take, for example, the creative mobilizing efforts of the “Save Pe’sla” movement. Artists, celebrities, tribes, and people from many other social spheres, came together to purchase the sacred site by using various digital media projects, such as this video, spread via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms, most of which centered around the "Last Real Indians" website by Chase Iron Eyes.   

Or, how artist Aaron Huey raised awareness of the Lakota fight to claim the Black Hills in South Dakota, demanding that the government start Honoring the Treaties. He did so though a book, documentary filmTed Talk, mural project, and website, to name a few of his strategies.

Or even more recently, the #IdleNoMore movement in Canada has rallied behind a collection of digital, mobile, and social strategies that include a tweeted hashtag meme, flash mobs, and website – all mixed with traditional protest methods of road blocks, marches, and even a very real, human hunger strike – inspired by assertion that if "Aboriginal people did not speak out it would mean they "comply with [their] silence" on the most important issues to indigenous communities. The movement has grown to broaden the conversation, calling for treaty recognition, tribal self-determination, and policy reformation, among other important areas.

I see these movements as the product of very real contributing factors, including:

  • Policy: The 2009 passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama early in his administration.  A portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act designated approximately $7.2 billion in investments to expand broadband access nationwide, improve high-speed connectivity in rural areas and public computer centers, and increase Internet capacity in schools, libraries, public safety offices, and other public buildings.
  • Philanthropy:  people today - particularly social entrepreneurs and innovators - see that the commons can be more creative and nimble than political change via government policies, or developing solutions based on markets and profit margins. The Save Pe’ Sla movement was ultimately a fundraiser, for example.
  • Technology: hardware and software have dramatically improved as our phones have become smarter, increasingly light and mobile, and easier to use. The above referenced examples provide evidence to suggest that websites and widgets are dramatically improving creative connectivity through devices that are increasingly common and relatively affordable.  For example, I learned about Aaron Huey’s Documentary Video and TedTalk from a friend at a barbecue, later watched both on YouTube on my iPad and then promptly downloaded the digital illustration he used on his mural as my new desktop wallpaper.
  • Society: it’s clear that people now see the adoption of digital, mobile, and social media technologies as standard tools in our mobilization kit. People can and do use a mix of basic mobile devices, such as Androids and iPhones, basic social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to produce basic  digital with content such as images and videos, all delivered through basic digital media platforms such as YouTube and  Flickr. We consider the insights of bloggers and “posters” of all kinds, from status updates to manifestos. You can follow the hunger strike in your news feed.

Welcome to 2013 – join me in watching what will come in the year ahead for the new American Indian Movement and the digitization, mobilization, socialization of media from indigenous communities across the globe.

I'm reminded that these recent events all began after the Return of Pté San Wi, the White Buffalo Calf Woman in July. Could these events be the dawning of the Age of Illumination, the age when mankind walks upright and once again remembers his true relationship with Creator? In the words of Black Elk, "...the yellow for the south, whencer come the summer and the power to grow.

Saturday
Mar312012

Nonprofit Tech Companies

This weekend I hosted a party and one of my guests recently started working at Twitter. We had a nice conversation about social media and technology, and how in light of recent high-profile public offerings (Facebook, Groupon, LinkedIn, Pandora, Yelp, Zynga, etc.), little has been known about how these technology companies are turning a profit, like the recent 60 Minutes profile of Groupon.

I live two blocks away from the Zynga headquarters and walk past the Twitter's new building on my way to work each morning, so technology is a community interest for me, in some ways.

And for those tech companies that offer information or tools, it's fascinating to see some great examples of non-profit tech companies that serve a social mission, making the internet more of a nonprofit space, where ads and marketing aren't influencing the user experience.

I've been thinking more and more about this conversation and so I decided to explore the mission statements of my top 10 favorite nonprofit tech companies.

They are (in alphabetical order):

1. Bay Area Video Coalition (San Francisco, CA) bavc.org
Mission: The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) inspires social change by enabling the sharing of diverse stories through art, education and technology.

2. Craigslist Foundation (RIP, San Francisco, CA) craigslist.org
Mission: to empower people to strengthen their communities by connecting them to the resources they need to effectively engage in community building.

3. Creative Commons (Mountain View, CA) creativecommons.org
Mission: Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.

4. Electronic Frontier Foundation (San Francisco, CA) eff.org
Mission: The Corporation was formed for the purpose of understanding and fostering the opportunities of digital communication in a free and open society.

5. Internet Archive (San Francisco, CA) archive.org
Mission: to offer permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.

6. Kahn Academy (Mountain View, CA) kahnacademy.org
Mission: to provide a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.

Note: Kahn Academy was recently featured on 60 Minutes.

7. Mozilla Foundation (Mountain View, CA) mozilla.org
Mission: to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the web,

8. TechSoup Global (San Francisco, CA) techsoup.org
Mission: TechSoup Global is working toward a time when every nonprofit and NGO on the planet has the technology resources and knowledge they need to operation at their full potential.

9. Tehnology, Entertainment, Design (New York, NY) ted.com
Mission: Spreading ideas.

10. Wikimedia Foundation (San Francisco, CA) wikimediafoundation.org
Mission: to encourage the growth, development, and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to provide the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge.

Please share your favorite nonprofit tech companies with me! I can be reached at adam@badwound.org.

Saturday
Mar242012

Cooperation Makes It Happen!

Yesterday's post made me think of a song that I remember loving from my childhood: "Cooperation" by Sesame Street. It's also a good reminder that Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit organization with a mission "to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential."

Their projects bring critical lessons in literacy and numeracy, emotional wellbeing, health and wellness, and respect and understanding to children in 150+ countries.

Co-operation... makes it happen!

Co-operation ... working together!

Dig it!