Throughout September and October, Digital Grassroots held the Digital Rights Learning Exchange Program (DRLX) Cohort 2 in cooperation with the Open Internet for Democracy Initiative and with support from the Mott Foundation. This was the program’s second edition – after the successful first run, which took place earlier this year in spring.
The program provided emerging digital rights advocates with training and mentorship on developing and implementing digital rights advocacy projects across such areas as:
- Access and Affordability
- Freedom of Expression
- Internet Shutdowns
- Privacy and Surveillance
In total, the Digital Rights Learning Exchange involved 20 aspiring human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, researchers, and Internet Governance activists from 7 countries (Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe). The program engagement was tailored specifically to promote active collaboration between participants coming from various communities, foster peer learning, and build networks for digital rights cooperation.
By its design, the DRLX consisted of a six-week online course, weekly 90 minutes group meetings with industry experts as a guest speaker, a group project where participants were developing a digital rights advocacy campaign, and a 2-week group mentorship with an industry expert who provided the feedback on participant projects. Over the span of the program, participants had an opportunity to acquire knowledge on advocacy planning, communication, monitoring, and evaluation and test their learnings and skills by applying them to group projects. The end of the DRLX Cohort 2 was marked with a Finale Event, where participants presented their group projects to the community. The event gathered program alumni and mentors. DIGRA community members and fellow digital rights advocates of the participants.
Digital Grassroots would like to acknowledge and celebrate everyone who committed to supporting the learning journey of our aspiring group of digital rights advocates by sharing their time and expertise: our guest speakers David Aragort, Elizabeth Sutterlin, Ji Yeon, Lourdes Walusala, Michael J. Oghia and Rachel Mims and mentors Emmanuel C. Ogu, Grace Msauki, Jameson Pierre-Louis, Jesse Nathan Kalange, Osei Manu Kagyah. We would also love to thank our participants for their active program engagement and dedication to building a better digital rights space for their communities. We look forward to seeing you make an impact in the sphere!