Dd’s 10th Birthday Party!

How do you celebrate 10 years of an organization? Last month, the Digital Democracy team answered that question with a 10th birthday party, thanks to sponsorship from Mapbox, Saucey, and a fabulous volunteer host committee in San Francisco, California.

We were thrilled that over 100 people joined us to celebrate with food, music, interactive maps, tech demos, dancing – and even birthday cake. It was a joyous occasion, with some of Dd’s longest supporters as well as new friends. Check out the photos here, with thanks to photographers Kersh Branz and Rajkumar Kumaradhevan.

For me, it was an honor to tell the story of the early days of Digital Democracy, and how our work has evolved over the past decade. Despite the ways our team has grown and our programs have changed, the core of our work remains the same: to work in solidarity with marginalized communities who are using technology to defend their environmental and human rights. The evening was a special moment to mark this anniversary and invite others to get involved in our work in the future.

One of the highlights of the evening was a presentation by Oswando “Opi” Nenquimo, the director of Waorani Territory Mapping for Dd’s partner organization Alianza Ceibo. He shared a powerful story of his homeland, his journey to becoming an advocate for his people, and his work with Alianza Ceibo, Amazon Frontlines & Digital Democracy to defend Waorani Territory against threats to their future, including new oil concessions.

In addition to celebrating our first 10 years of work, we shared our vision for what comes next. Through our partnership with indigenous communities in the Amazon, we’ve built powerful tools for environmental advocacy. In the coming year our goal is to deepen our support for our existing partners in the Amazon, and bring these tools to frontline communities around the world who are requesting them. In the face of the growing threats of climate change & global inequality, we asked for support to make 2019 our most ambitious year yet. From the party & efforts of our host committee, we were able to raise $8,500. This is a significant step towards our goal to raise $100,000 by early next year, an amount which will be matched by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. One third of the proceeds from the evening will go to Opi’s organization, Alianza Ceibo, to support their critical work in the year to come.

How you can get involved

Whether you attended the party or had to miss it, we invite you to get involved & support our efforts in the year to come. Here are some simple next steps you can take:

Huge thanks to all who made the evening a success, from the attendees, DJ Such n’ Such (Julian Mocine-McQueen), & sponsors Mapbox & Saucey. Extra thanks to host committee members Marena Brinkhurst, Vanice Dunn, Janet Harris, Shoshanna Howard, Bhavik Lathia, Austen Levihn-Coon, Mike Migurski & Justin Winters.

Want to relive some of our work from the past decade? View this slideshow of images from Digital Democracy’s first 10 years: