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Social Media and Nonviolent Change

By Universal Prayther
On March 28, 2011

"Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds."

On Thursday, March 10 in Alumni Hall, Amanda Respess read the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, advocating Social Media and Nonviolent Change. She explained elegantly how technology and communication continues to do it's most essential and fundamental function and how it is still affective as someone using pen and paper to write their message or using face book, twitter, and text messaging. When the day is over, we are still expressing a message from one person's heart to others. Moreover, the power of imagery, such as pictures and television, allows a people to see how mutual we are by seeing the same image.

The before pictures of Emmett Till, Kaled Shyed and others were normal, but the power of the after pictures can make a human feel. These ideas were also shared with her guest speakers Esra's Al Shafei, Farhang Farid and Dr. Babak Rahimi.

Rahimi spoke about how people were using technology, when a huge election was going on and how an increasingly large amount of people showed up. He was amazed to see how these many people found out about an election that was postponed, then and held again. The question that he asked was how this could have gotten around so quickly? He believes that word of mouth, text messages and Facebook were the means of getting the information out.

Farid spoke of how he was successful in continuing to get information out into the world by building websites and social networking. The audience was given the opportunity to see him via Skype and ask him questions. One of the largest concerns about the social networking was gaining peoples trust; this would ensure that the social network in question would not fail. An audience member asked Farid about how was he was able to build trust to held this social network together, because, he (the audience member) said, that he was also trying to do the same thing, but had failed because the element of trust was not there.

A hope to make a change by using cyber mobilization, communications, practices and principles are the keys in completing unity, trust and mutuality, but it will stand waiting for the force that will open a door to social media and a non-violent change. It's only waiting for the people to make it happen.

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