The word is Listening.
At the start of the year I was invited to share on twitter what my word for 2020 would be. The word I chose was listening. And that single word over any other word I could have chosen feels more important than ever. Listening has always been core to my work which involves working alongside people with important stories to tell to feel confident and able to tell them in their own ways and in their own words. Some of those people have been through life-changing situations or experienced social injustice and want to use what they’ve learnt to offer ideas and solutions to create tangible change for their communities. They’ve been telling me that they don’t feel listened to or represented in conversations on issues which affect them. Another large group of people I work with are those who work at society’s frontline – who see directly the issues that those most invisible groups face and also say they don’t feel listened to.
The outbreak of the coronavirus and the uncertainty and fear that it is bringing with it means we need to listen. To our scientists, our government and the experts. But we also need to make sure we’re hearing from and listening to those at the frontline.
Tonight, with Tortoise Media we are partnering on our first Digital ThinkIn Coronavirus: the unheard stories. This will be an opportunity to listen to some of the unheard stories during this pandemic.
Tortoise Media is a news organisation and platform that launched a year ago. They host events, called ThinkIns, in which they bring people together to debate the latest thing in the news in the Tortoise newsroom. The sounddelivery team experienced a ThinkIn earlier this year with members of our Spokesperson Network and some of the Tortoise team were part of annual sector training day The Social Media Exchange earlier this month.
Partnership is key to the way organisations like sounddelivery and media platforms work. Both our organisations help to build partnerships with community groups and charities to bring a wide range of people into conversations, people who aren’t usually put at the forefront of the news agenda. This will ensure that new voices and perspectives are heard. This evening nearly 200 people from experts by experience, frontline workers, policy makers to staff working for foundations are taking part in Digital Thinkin via Zoom. This will be a chance to listen to people like Marissa Begonia from the Voice of Domestic Workers, Simeon Moore, Community Activist and Sue James, Solicitor for Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre all trying to find solutions to support their networks in the most challenging times.
We are proud to be involved in this Digital ThinkIn as we know that many people in our network will be at the heart of addressing the crisis, but might not be being heard. Please do get involved