Rising Voices, an outreach initiative of Global Voices, aims to help bring new voices from new communities and speaking new languages to the global conversation by providing resources and funding to local groups reaching out to underrepresented communities.
Founded in 2004 by a group of pioneering international bloggers, Global Voices aggregates, curates, and amplifies the global conversation online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore. However, over the years it became increasingly clear that certain regions, languages, and demographics were better represented in the online global conversation than others. The bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters featured on Global Voices tended to be urban, middle-class, and well-educated.
Launched in May 2007 thanks to the support of a Knight News Challenge Award, Rising Voices seeks to empower under-represented communities to make their voices heard online by 1.) providing financial support to outreach projects, 2.) developing a series of participatory media tutorials, and 3.) cultivating a network of passionate citizen media activists to help encourage and support the replication of outreach trainings.
Every six months Rising Voices organizes a micro-grant competition, which awards five grants of US$1,000 to $5,000 for new media outreach projects. Ideal applicants present innovative and detailed proposals to teach citizen media techniques to communities that are poorly positioned to discover and take advantage of tools like blogging, video-blogging, and podcasting on their own. In July and December of 2007 we announced our first and second rounds of grantees. Their success prompted us to arrange more grant competitions. The third one was in June 2008 which was focused on Health-Related New Media Outreach Projects and the fourth round was announced in March 2009. In 2010 we had awarded micro-grant to three citizen media projects from Egypt. This year in April we announced our latest round of grantees.
You can learn more about the grant competition by visiting the Apply page.
One of the most challenging obstacles to effectively training new communities how to take advantage of citizen media tools like blogs, podcasts, and online video is the lack of documentation in languages other than English. A series of six guides – each available in at least six languages – aims to clearly explain the tools, techniques, and potential of citizen media through the use of case studies and easily understandable tutorials. Rising Voices’ “Introduction to Citizen Media” and “Blogging Positively” guides will soon be joined by more explanatory guides on our Library page.
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Rising Voices is a global network of people who are knowledgeable and passionate about citizen media and want to see the benefits of self-expression extended to communities that have yet to come across these tools. You can subscribe to our mailing list above.
Eddie Ávila, Director of Outreach
Prior to his current focus on outreach, Eddie served as Global Voices’ Latin America Regional Editor, monitoring the Latin American blogosphere, highlighting key content and translating select posts from Spanish to English. He currently is based in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Laura Morris, Blog Editor
When not editing the Rising Voices blog, Laura makes freelance radio programs about cultural production around the world. Her interests include storytelling, the politics behind photography, and terrariums. Originally from New York, she is currently based in Paris, France.
Ramsey George, StoryMaker Trainer and Community Coordinator
Ramsey is a founding member of 7iber.com where he works with online and offline communities around the Middle East to create spaces for critical conversations and community building. For Ramsey new media is a powerful tool for bringing people together to positively contribute to society. Living in Amman, Jordan, Ramsey was raised in rural America to a Palestinian mother and an American father. He has a B.S. in rhetoric and communication and an M.S. in technical communication.
Rezwan, Features Editor
Rezwan was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh and now resides in Jakarta, Indonesia. He started blogging in April 2003 at The Third World View, which tries to portray Bangladesh and Bangladeshis beyond the typical headlines seen in news. He is also the Regional Editor For South Asia in Global Voices Online. His hobbies include theater, music, movies, blogging and reading. He speaks Bangla, English & German.
Maryna Reshetnyak, Russian-Language Health Editor
Maryna lives and works in Odessa, Ukraine. Her areas of interests are Public Health and Public Economics. Besides writing for Rising Voices she contributes to the PR office of UNDP, is working on her PhD dissertation in Economics, and sometimes lectures college courses. Maryna holds an MPA degree from the University of Delaware.