Community Grant Program — interview with Jessica Yamoah

Through our series of grantee spotlights, we hope to support you and/or your organization in applying for this program. We will be accepting applications on a rolling basis until November 9th 2018.

Jessica Yamoah is an advocate for the inclusion of underrepresented communities in the technology sector. Through community engagement on digital literacy and digital rights, this project aims to promote awareness and develop resources for participants to launch their own digital media campaigns.

Why is it important to navigate digital rights locally within your community?

Waterloo Region has been dubbed “Canada’s Tech Triangle”. The culture within “the tech triangle” has been traditionally a “bro culture” that is not inclusive. This project will empower participants with a focus on underrepresented communities (Indigenous, Black, women…) in the Region through establishing awareness of digital literacy. And building capacity amongst attendees to launch their own digital media campaigns. Elements of the project will be made available online.

Tell us more about yourself.

I’m a second generation Canadian woman of Ghanaian decent. Born, and raised in Waterloo, I have a history of proven civic engagement and collaboration with community organizations including the Congress of Black Women, and University of Waterloo Black Association of Student Expression (UBASE). I moved to Toronto to pursue post secondary education.

As a professional in tech, I have held positions at Nike, Nokia, and Apple. In addition to working with these leading global organizations I have consulted for start up companies. Through out my experiences in the innovation and technology space, I’ve recognized the underrepresentation of gender, ethnicity/race, orientation, physical/cognitive abilities, and age. This was the catalyst for establishing my own not-for profit organization. Founded in 2017, I’ve been an advocate for underrepresented communities and inclusion promoting awareness and access to resources and programming with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology.

What impact do you hope to have with this project?

My goal is to increase awareness of digital literacy and digital rights by having participants walk through the V360 campaign under the themes of: consent, data collection, ownership, use and rights, digital inclusion, openness, freedom of expression, accessibility, and participation.

Want to apply to the Digital Rights Community Grant Program? Check out our website digitaljusticelab.ca/grants. We will be hosting virtual office hours each week for the next month check them out here digitaljusticelab.ca/events.

The Digital Justice Lab is a national organization that engages and collaborates with diverse communities to build alternative digital futures.

The Digital Justice Lab is a national organization that engages and collaborates with diverse communities to build alternative digital futures.