Dd's 10th Birthday Party!

Emily Jacobi
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December 19, 2018

How do you celebrate 10 years of an organization? Last month, the DigitalDemocracy team answered that question with a 10th birthday party, thanks tosponsorship from Mapbox, Saucey, and a fabulous volunteer host committee in SanFrancisco, 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 wasa joyous occasion, with some of Dd’s longest supporters as well as new friends.Check out the photos here, withthanks to photographers Kersh Branz and RajkumarKumaradhevan.

For me, it was an honor to tell the story of the early days of DigitalDemocracy, and how our work has evolved over the past decade. Despite theways our team has grown and our programs have changed, the core of our workremains the same: to work in solidarity with marginalized communities who areusing technology to defend their environmental and human rights. The eveningwas a special moment to mark this anniversary and invite others to get involvedin 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 partnerorganization Alianza Ceibo. He shared a powerful story of his homeland, hisjourney to becoming an advocate for his people, and his work with AlianzaCeibo, Amazon Frontlines & Digital Democracy to defend Waorani Territoryagainst threats to their future, including new oil concessions.

In addition to celebrating our first 10 years of work, we shared our vision forwhat comes next. Through our partnership with indigenous communities in theAmazon, we’ve built powerful tools for environmental advocacy. In the comingyear 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 arerequesting them. In the face of the growing threats of climate change & globalinequality, we asked for support to make 2019 our most ambitious year yet. Fromthe party & efforts of our host committee, we were able to raise $8,500. Thisis a significant step towards our goal to raise $100,000 by early next year, anamount which will be matched by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. One third ofthe proceeds from the evening will go to Opi’s organization, Alianza Ceibo, tosupport 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:

  • Support the Waorani Resistance Campaign! Sign the petition calling on oil companies to listen to Waorani communities who are resisting oil on the territory.
  • Please contribute to our 10th Anniversary campaign. You can make a tax deductible donation to Digital Democracy via our donate page, or by sending a check to 4953 Desmond St, Oakland CA 94618.
  • If you’re interested in volunteering on our code, helping with translations or hosting a fundraising event for Dd, please get in touch!
  • We're compiling our lessons learned and planning to share more stories about our programs & partners. I'd love to hear your own stories and memories from our first 10 years.

Huge thanks to all who made the evening a success, from the attendees, DJ Suchn’ Such (Julian Mocine-McQueen), & sponsors Mapbox & Saucey. Extra thanks tohost committee members Marena Brinkhurst, Vanice Dunn, Janet Harris, ShoshannaHoward, 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:

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Emily Jacobi
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