Inclusive Social Media
For the latest news and extensive resources, see the list of over a dozen blog posts and presentations below.
With Ford Foundation support 2010-11, we are deepening our Issues Forum start-up efforts starting in the lower income, high immigrant Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis and the Greater Frogtown neighborhood in St. Paul.
Support from the St. Paul Foundation in 2010 assisted the launch of a new forum on St. Paul's Eastside. In 2011, with Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Fund support, Phillips and Powderhorn gained special inclusive outreach assistance. The Knight Foundation's donor advised fund at the St. Paul Foundation is supporting additional St. Paul-wide outreach covering most of the city but in particular helping us extend special outreach to the West Side, Summit-U Rondo, and the North End.
These forums serve the kinds of neighborhoods are the least likely to have local community building efforts that use social media while wealthier, more homogeneous areas are benefiting from a mix of neighborhood e-mail lists, blogs, Ning sites, and Facebook Groups.
From gathering lessons on effective community outreach (we do extensive in-person outreach) to building content and forum participant engagement that reflects the diversity of those successfully recruited, this work is being watched. This seems to be a nut that no one has cracked. What good is online engagement if it just empowers those communities that need the least relative help while completely passing over those diverse/lower income areas that could benefit the most?
Our part-time Diverse Community Outreach Leaders lead recruitment efforts and our content-oriented Community Outreach and Information Leaders lead information seeking and discussion seeding that brings out the diversity of the community in the dialogue and exchange. We are also working to evaluate and document this ongoing work for broad sharing.
With 2011 funding just secured from the Blandin Foundation, we are expanding efforts to include our Native American majority rural Minnesota Cass Lake Leech Lake community Issues Forum in this enhanced effort. Our volunteer-based 35+ forum network continues and will also benefit from efforts to increase the diversity of new voices.
This work is built on our past Neighborhood Forums and Rural Voices grants and ongoing Issues Forum work. It is informing our exploratory Neighborly effort to build a tool that helps connect you with your nearest neighbors online via electronic block clubs of sorts (for all kinds of block activities).
Background - Details from our Blog
For further background on this evolving work, see the following blog posts on our project blog:
- Drafting - Why Digital Inclusion for Community Voices? - Extensive numbers as we prepare 2012 expansion proposals
- Empowering Diverse Community Voices One Person at a Time – Our Exciting Team, Trust
- Neighbors Forums Presentation – Let the Summer of Outreach Begin
- Diverse Community Outreach Leaders – We’re Hiring
- Frogtown Outreach Lessons 3 – Trust, Usability, Diversity, Potential
- Frogtown Outreach Lessons 2
- Dramatic Response to Crime in Powderhorn - Special outreach in Powderhorn and in Phillips launching in 2011]
- Cedar Riverside Outreach Lessons 1
- Using Technology to Build Community Webinar and Local Matters Presentation
- National Neighbors Online Statistics
- Frogtown Outreach Lessons 1
- Neighbor Forums in the News
- Recent Outreach Experiences
- Frogtown E-Invite and Video in Hmong
- Frogtown Outreach Details
- Cedar Riverside Outreach and E-Invite
- Paper Sign-up Forms Lesson - More outreach materials
- Cass Lake Participant Video - Connecting across diversity
- Forum Manager Interviews
- Organizing to Respond to Crime
- Consulting with Government
- Issues Forums and Local Social Media Webinars
- Cass Lake Finds its Voice Online
- Print materials - Including our Brochure, Poster, More
- Example discussions - Notable topics displaying the power and usefulness of the forums
- Starting a neighbors forum
- Issues Forums for participants - Drafting
- Issues Forums for organizers - Drafting
- Issues Forums for elected officials - Drafted for review
- Issues Forums for organizations - Drafting
- Updating from Participants guide:
- How to join an Issues Forum - Drafting
- Local Recruitment Tools - Paper Sign-up Sheet and Poster Templates
- Vitalizing Democracy Award Application
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