FOUNDING STORY: We want to hear about your “Aha!” moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution’s potential to change the world.
Co-founding members Amanda Garcés and Sasha Constanza-Schock both come from a popular communication background and Mobile Voices was created out of an ongoing, two-year effort to use Communication for Social Change methodology to analyze the political, technical, and organizing needs of innovative multiethnic media projects controlled by low-wage immigrant workers in Los Angeles. This participatory communication project has been focused on, first, strengthening internal, intragroup, and external communication channels among Los Angeles' low-wage immigrant populations, second, developing specific and appropriate technology solutions in this context, and third, carefully documenting the research process and the tools developed in order to make them available to others for adaptation and local re-use. Our project team's initial research, supported by the SSRC's Small Collaborative Grants program in 2007, mapped the communication ecology of low-wage immigrant worker organizations in LA and, through interviews, surveys, and a participatory production workshop, identified audio (radio and
CD) and mobile phones as the two most important communication tools for the community partners.
Specify both the depth and scale of your solution’s social impact to date
IDEPSCA's Popular Education methodology coupled with Mobile Voices' complementary popular communication approach is helping to build a process of reflection, dialogue, and action within immigrant worker communities and to develop alternative, community-based media outlets in Los Angeles County and across the United States. To create community change, IDEPSCA has partnered with several organizations to document and circulate the crucial education, organizing, and advocacy work happening in Southern California. Our partner organizations already include the Los Angeles Community Action Network, the Southern California Library, Youth Justice Coalition, and we are in the process of creating partnerships with the Vermont Workers Solidarity Project, Conexion Comunitaria, Media Lieteracy Project, Unidad Latina en Accion, Media Mobilizing Project and East Los Angeles Community Corporation.
What is your projected impact within the next 1-5 years? Is your idea replicable? If so, how?
The Mobile Voices model is designed from top to bottom to be easily replicable, and to be shared, modified, and used by others. Our workshop curriculum and training materials will be made freely available under a creative commons license; our content management system and other software we develop are all licensed under the GPL as Free and Open Source Software, and our code is available for download at code.vozmob.net; the stories published on the Mobile Voices site are all licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike-Noncommercial. In addition, the Mobile Voices project has already begun to offer hands-on training, workshops, and software customization support to other community based organizations interested in replicating our model.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and mark growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Participating workers will help Mobile Voices grow and also expand to other organizations across the Los Angeles region.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Participating workers will help Mobile Voices grow and also expand to other organizations across the United States.