Social Media for Social Change

One of my primarily goals for techINcolor is to highlight efforts that use technology to make a tangible difference in the world - those rare instances where conversation transforms into action. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a Boston-centered event: Social Media for Social Change. The event, organized by Gradon Tripp, "was born of the idea that the social media community, these 'agents of change' can get together for one night, to support one cause."

Social Media for Social Change will tentatively take place on Friday, October 10th, at the Harvard Club.

Stop Domestic Violence. Stop Sexual Assault.
All proceeds of Social Media for Social Change will benefit the Jane Doe, Inc.
Here is their mission statement:
Jane Doe Inc., The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence brings together organizations and people committed to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. We create social change by addressing the root causes of this violence, and promote justice, safety and healing for survivors. JDI advocates for responsive public policy, promotes collaboration, raises public awareness, and supports our member organizations to provide comprehensive prevention and intervention services. We are guided by the voices of survivors.
A WBUR story that ran just this morning about Jane Doe, Inc., reported that "there was an almost three-fold increase in domestic violence deaths in the state between 2005 and 2007." Personally, I have a hard time thinking of anyone who doesn't know a story of how domestic violence has impacted someone they love. I have friends who have been abused, friends parents who have been abused, and friends who have been deeply impacted by the scars of others who have been abused. It is an issue that needs attention and action.

What can I do?
Public awareness and public action means public change. Social Media for Social Change is an event that can have a real impact on efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault in Massachusetts. Even more important, it can represent a step in the right direction for technology influencing change, not just in violence, but in anything we think needs changing - hunger, the sex trade, poverty, etc. Social Media for Social Change is just as much about our use of technology as it is about our desire to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

So save the date. Put it in your Facebook status. Post it on a blog. Tweet it on Twitter. Text it to a friend. Write about it in your school newspaper. If you can't attend, tell someone who can. Awareness will impact this event just as profoundly as attendance.

Social Media for Social Change.
The Harvard Club.
October 10th, 2008.
(I'll post more information as it becomes available)


Gradon Tripp said...


Thank you so much for putting the word out. With recent news that Governor Patrick has declared domestic violence a "public health emergency", it is more imperative than ever that we in the social media world start a conversation to help. The more attention the matter receives, the more it's pulled out of the shadows, the closer we can come to eliminating the problem.

Thanks again!

limeduck said...

How can I make my comment here without sounding like a jerk?

This is a really good fundraiser for an important cause, but I think it missed a chance to be really great.

When I read, "social media fundraiser" I got excited about bringing the great virtues of social media - openness, transparency, interoperability, simplicity - to bear in the service of social change.

But when I clicked through, I found a swank cocktail party with corporate sponsors. How is a single time and place physical event with a fixed price leveraging social media? Sure, there's blog and a digg button, but is this really the best way to raise the most money possible to help address an awful problem?

I remember being impressed that PodCamp Boston 3 posted their budget http://www.podcampboston.org/ledger/ for all to see. But at SM4SC it's very difficult to figure out how much they're going to raise for Jane Doe and how much they're going to spend to get there.

I don't doubt for a second the commitment or honesty of Gradon and company, I only challenge them to create a truly social-media enhanced fundraiser next time, one that raises more money for the a good cause, more efficiently and more transparently with the involvement of more people than "regular" fundraisers do.

Till then, I'll save the cab fare and dry cleaning and just make a credit card donation to Jane Doe http://www.janedoe.org/donate.htm