When Impact Works: Digital Convenience Meets Real-Life Action
Bridget Kyeremateng is the Social Impact Coordinator at Tumblr working to increase social good awareness through Tumblr’s initiatives and events.
Over the last few decades, the term “community” has begun to evolve. What originally may have only conjured the idea of your neighborhood or the group of people you regularly communed with now includes an entire digital space and virtual world.
Although social media is often labeled as a hurdle to real human connection, the Tumblr community frequently sees the platform as a first step at connecting with others over their shared passions and interests. What starts as a conversation on Tumblr can often inspire and lead to real-life meetings among members of the community or the inspiration to activate online interests in the real world.
During a panel at VoxBurner’s recent Youth Marketing Summit, three college students working towards different kinds of culture change discussed the power of social media in getting the word out there. The ease that digital community allows them to share, champion, and work for change is unparalleled, but that doesn’t negate that in-person interaction is necessary in the work that they do. Door-knocking allows personal connections and affiliations, rallies inspire passersby to stop and participate, and tabling and flying is still strong on all campuses. In short, there is an incredible amount of power behind any community that knows how to correctly utilize the IRL and the URL.
Tumblr sees voting as one of the most important offline actions you can take on behalf of yourself and your community. This investment in voting and civic education is a reflection of the years of vibrant conversations around tags like #VotingRights and #Politics across the platform. Over 80% of Tumblr’s users represent Millennial or Generation Z and over 35% represent communities of color. Using this entire landscape as inspiration, Tumblr dedicated its 2018 midterm initiatives to working with diverse organizations supporting these voices on and offline.
Enter #VoteTogether, a campaign that works to make voting and election day more celebratory and fun by hosting parties at the polls. Live events near polling places that inspire neighbors, family, friends, employees, and the physical community to come together and celebrate participation in democracy. #VoteTogether rallies communities and connections that exist, but it also offers the opportunity for people to join a new community, a community of participants. It invites those who may never have participated to join the party.
Tumblr and #VoteTogether have teamed up this year to host events that tap into and amplify their digital output.
First up? Tumblr is partnering up with The Equity Alliance, a non-profit organization that focuses on advocating for communities of color, to host a #VotingIsLit Community Block Party—a Halloween-themed, family-friendly event in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville.
If you’re interested in more work relating to Tumblr’s activism, click here.