Reflections: #StayWoke - Taking Media to Another Level of Understanding

(Sade Swift's reflections on the T’ruah Media Training with Auburn Seminary held on July 14, 2015, in the InterChurch Center in NYC. Sade is Damayan's Admin Coordinator.)

I’ve noticed that the world that we are rapidly being molded into is one that cannot be avoided. Our creativity and imagination has been slowly leaving us right through our fingertips. It almost feels like we’ve sold our souls to screens and pixels and have forgotten that we are in this together.

In the past few years, the media has become a platform where we go and express our deepest secrets, our proudest moments, our biggest heart breaks, and parts of ourselves that we would not express any other way. While being in the workshop, this question was raised “how can one mourn death online and does this harm or heal them?” . I felt conflicted on this topic because I could only imagine all these families that have lost their children to police brutality and having to cope with their name becoming a hashtag, and being chanted through the streets. On one hand, I think they are grateful that people care about their child’s life but, on the other hand, there is no privacy.

During the workshop, we used Kalief Browder’s story as a case study and spoke about the collateral damage that’s caused by solitary confinement. For those that don't know who Kalief is and/or what’s happened to him, I wonder why. I question what more can we as a people do to educate each other online.

The media has its limitations and one of them is the emotions that come out of a face to face conversation that cannot be replicated through a screen. There is so much power in the voices of the women in Damayan and we want to convey this power. I’ve seen so many people and their experiences be lost in translation and lose their credibility and this workshop helped us find ways to avoid that and really allow these flowers that have been budding for so long to blossom!

Considering that Damayan is such a small organization but one that is on the rise, this workshop was a great way to start thinking about some ways to share the stories of our migrant workers. It made me wonder what it would look like if a member of Damayan took on an issue of their own and created a campaign around it. We stand for educating migrant workers about their rights but also empowering them to be leaders, rise and make a change in their communities.