What our Web and Digital Communications Channels Say About Us

June 27, 2020, 4:15 PM - 5:45 PM

Session Type: Lab

Oftentimes the largest messaging platform that any organization has are the websites and digital platforms in which its programs, opportunities, open calls and informational meetings take place and yet these interfaces are often the most overlooked resource when it comes to considering deep messaging about access, equity, belonging and diversity. The ultimate marketing tool, our websites and platforms can easily reflect our mission and vision and be welcoming and inspiring spaces for everyone we intend to serve or if we are not paying attention, these spaces can inadvertently send messages to our communities that run counter to our goals. Moving beyond compliance, this session presents the idea that our applications and the platforms we use to communicate can serve multiple diversities and do it well without requiring huge financial investment or special knowledge. As long as we know how to identify and mitigate the intellectual, psychological, emotional and physical reactions that can occur in response to language, timing and placement, we can effect major change. Like tourists with fresh eyes, we will break up in teams and take a tour of an email blast, a website and its distribution method using an equity lens. We will survey both the tools and the platforms taking inventory of the key features, recording not only what we read and experience but also how this makes us feel. The results will then be shared across the groups and with we will then turn our collective imagination towards creating SMARTIE (see below) goals aimed at identifying implicit bias and removing barriers. The aim of this session is to give participants practical ideas about how to address issues within our applications and digital platforms that negatively affect our work focused on building a more diverse, equitable, accessible and inclusive process and community. The combination of prompts, questions, examples and conversation will help participants develop ideas that are appropriate for them and the context in which they work.
Learning Objectives:
  • Activate kinesthetic awareness in order to expand their understanding of the intellectual, psychological and physical reactions to language and digital distribution platforms.
  • Learn how to apply a cultural equity audit tool to digital messaging and platforms.
  • Use an equity framework to support the creation of smart goals capable of transforming the experience of their websites, messaging and digital platforms into active extensions of their mission and vision.