Greetings! As we explore this journey of Social Media and Digital Leadership, I was struck recently when I received an advertisement for a prominent Higher Education Social Media Conference. There were 12 speakers at this online conference, and when I looked at the advertisement I was surprised at the lack of racial diversity among their panelists. In addition, as we approach March 25, 2017; the one year anniversary of the #BLKSAPBlackout on the Student Affairs Facebook page, I wanted to engage with colleagues about the concept of digital leadership and social media through a lens of equity and inclusion.
Questions came to my head regarding who is gaining power in our field when it comes to Social Media leadership and whether the knowledge base currently being researched, discussed, and transferred to Senior Student Affairs Officers was truly inclusive of all experiences, or whether the knowledge was being couched and framed within white privilege and power. We began to explore this concept with various colleagues and have asked some to write on their experiences as black professionals who use social media. It is our hope this expands the knowledge and resources out there in how social media is used by various people groups who may not identify as white, cisgender, heterosexual and male. In addition, we desire to honor the important gift given to us as white professionals on the facebook page a year ago with the #BLKSAPBlackout. We have put together a few slides to highlight just some of the knowledge shared on the page, but we would encourage you to check out the entire conversation – just search for #BLKSAPBlackout on the Student Affairs Professionals Facebook page
In engaging black professionals on this topic, we asked the following questions for exploration:
These were merely prompts, as we asked colleagues to take this where they felt led. It is our hope these writings over the next few weeks will enlighten and engage in the topic of power and privilege within social media.
At the same time, I wanted to explore where my privilege and power was blinding me from being inclusive in my social media practice. Where could I dismantle the power and privilege we already have in a relatively new communication system? I explored tone policing, the erasing of race from our worldview as white people, and the concept of impact vs. intent. It is our hope this series will engage, create discussion, and produce a much richer field for exploration in the world of Digital Leadership.
If you’d like to add to this discussion in an official capacity, we would love to include your voice! Feel free to email tyler and we can get you set up to add to the series.