Sapphire: Life After
Innovative Communication for Advancing Social Justice © 2012
...Indeed, part of the genius of Cornelius was understanding the value of Soul Train as intellectual property -- a portal into the knowledge that was being produced by black culture and everyday black folk, not only in musical arenas, but in business, advertising, fine arts, and mass media. This understanding explains why Cornelius continued to hold on to his brand well into his late years; both a product of wanting to get the most value for it, as well as protecting its legacy...The idea of independent black media is still as important today. More independent content producers are finding new homes on the Internet. Last night, I went to a screening of "The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl" with it's actors/creators Issa Rae and Tracy Oliver in attendance.
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about how to be “more green” in our everyday lives, and in particular how to improve the global economy. In the last year, I have looked at the ways my company Global Wire Associates and my freelance journalism work operate and how I can create a smaller carbon footprint.
As a new media consulting firm, Global Wire Associates is in the business of using technology. However, with the growing problem of e-waste, we felt that it was our responsibility to use electronics with more mindfulness. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, it is estimated that 20-50 million tons of discarded electronics are dumped into landfills around the world, mostly in developing countries, every year. Electronics include old mobiles, televisions, microwaves, computers and more. However, most of the time it’s not because these gadgets are broken; they’re being dumped in favor of newer versions.
Landfills with e-waste create serious problems in the long run. Toxic chemicals in electronics can leach into the land over time or are released into the atmosphere, creating severe health and environmental hazards in nearby communities.
Even if you take your old electronics to recycling sites, there is no guarantee they will be recycled properly. This is partly because it is expensive and labor-intensive to properly recycle e-waste in many developed countries, as most environmental laws in these countries require e-recyclers to use environmentally friendly processes.
So, for the last year, my company decided that when it is time to purchase any new equipment – cameras, computers, mobiles - we made sure that old or broken equipment was repairable first. We also donate old electronics that are not deemed useful for our purposes to other needy individuals or organizations. Before we consider making new purchases, we try to buy older but usable models whenever possible. If the electronics are beyond repairable, we properly recycle them.
Not only are we doing our little part to save the health of the planet and its people, but it has also made us feel really good about ourselves and wanting to extend our enthusiasm with others. So this year we launched our Recharge E-Waste campaign to make others aware of the global tech waste problem. We not only plan to use our website to have discussions about proper recycling, donating and/or selling of used electronics, and turning electronics into art and design models, but we are also seriously thinking about launching an e-waste management initiative later this year.Our green awareness has also extended to other areas in our operations, like doing more web conferencing with clients instead of traveling, cloud computing and using green office supplies. Of course, I also use recycled cameras for my freelance video journalistic gigs. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can make a big difference in our world.
Filmmaker Issa Rae also felt that she wasn’t represented as a black woman in mainstream media. After reading yet another article about the lack of African-Americans onscreen, she decided to be the media and do her own online webisodes about being “awkward,” and, thus, the name of her series “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl.”This interview made me think more about how I can create more of my own unique journalism. In the last few months, there have been complaints by journalists of color about the lack of diverse anchors in prime-time TV news. While I support the idea of increasing racial diversity in mainstream media, maybe the conversation needs to move towards how media professionals of color can utilize technology for telling their own stories.
“This is the future, especially for minority content producers on the Internet,” she said in a recent CNN interview. “This is the way to go. There is no gatekeeper. You can release whatever content you want. I think this is the best route to take, honestly.”
As I have said here before, the more things seem to change, the more things remain the same.
[Bidve's family] have accused the police of failing to contact them to inform them of their son's death – they only found out when his friends started to contact them through Facebook – and of neglecting the case because it was the festive season.
The delay in getting Bidve's body home has infuriated family members, who say the British authorities were more concerned about Christmas and the new year festivities than in helping the family observe their traditions."It is unacceptable to us," said Rakesh Sonawane, Bidve's brother-in-law... "We still have a lot of faith in the UK authorities and the police, but they have to help us more. They have to help us to believe again that Britain is not a racist place."