One of the most inspirational keynote speakers I have heard for a long time presented at the opening of the Iste Chicago conference for 2018. Her name was Patricia Brown and she is a Technology Specialist at Ladue School District in St Louis, Missouri.
One of the key points she made was that digital media can change how people interact in the world. She has 5 sons, and as parents of African American males, the conversation she has with her boys is that they have to work twice as hard and be twice as good who have the same opportunities as others who don't look like them. Always take the high road and make good choices.
Her community was in turmoil because of the a number of issues that were going on and she could not ignore it. She wanted to teach kids to be socially aware and saw the impact of what was happening on her kids. As a teacher of influence, her kids questioned what was happening and she gave them the tools to use their voices as a way of raising awareness.
"Activism is my rent for living on this planet", a quote of Alice Walker makes sense to me, especially when I think about how lucky I am in the community and society that I live in to have access to the resources I do and the people I know to support my kids to make change for the good.
Patricia also encouraged us to 'find our tribe' and to begin the conversation and find people who were willing to speak up. "Digital media can amplify the voices of marginalised individuals. It can foster dialogue that is uncomfortable but absolutely critical". We need to speak a safe and hopeful future for our children today.