(Reposted as part of our staff picks from 2009, originally written by Mitch Malasky on 8/21/2009)
These videos are from an excellent panel on Friday afternoon at Netroots Nation 09 in Pittsburgh called Stepping it Up: Creating Powerful Multiracial Alliances with Progressive Bloggers. Hosted by Will Coley, the co-founder of Aquifer Media, the panel featured Cheryl Contee, a partner at Fission Strategy and a co-founder of JackandJillPolitics.com, Jacki Esposito, the policy coordinator at the Detention Watch Network, Kyle de Beausset, an immigrant himself who runs the blog CitizenOrange.com, and Rinku Sen, the executive director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and Publisher of ARC's ColorLines Magazine.
Together, these speakers are at the center of the pro-migrant blogosphere, which is small but slowly growing. Though most immigrant blogging so far has come out of the latino blogs, all of the members of this panel are working to develop an online network for immigrants, legal and illegal. The web is especially a great forum for illegal immigrants who are unable or afraid to speak out in public for fear of detention or deportation. Online they can speak out and share their stories anonymously to an audience who cares about what happens to them. The online strategizing also works to build a community, a collective voice, who jointly can speak for those individuals who have been silenced by pressure and by force. They are fighting an uphill battle which will only get tougher once immigration reform (finally) gets to congress. But by joining together online, they are developing a diverse unified front to counteract long established anti-migrant organizations.
Please keep checking http://www.SumofChange.com/NetrootsNation for more videos from Netroots Nation 2009 in Pittsburgh. We will have more videos from this panel up shortly. A don't forget to go to the recently redesigned www.SumofChange.com for all your socially, politically, and culturally conscious media.