beckyh | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by beckyh

Vozmob/Vojo merge sprint

In late Jan, the Vozmob and Vojo teams gathered in Oakland and LA for a work sprint.
Link to notes from the sprint:

The Vozmob team of IDEPSCA ( are based in LA were part of the original codesign team for Vozmob and continue to be codesigners as well as media makers and trainers. Pedro Joel, Luis Valentin, and _, from IDEPSCA joined via hangout periodically through the week.

Mirabot is a tech co-op based in Oakland and we are working closely with Squiggy Rubio and Matt Olenick on development.

From Civic, Civic Technologist Ed Platt and I joined in person, and Sasha Costanza Chock joined from LA with the IDEPSCA team.

Codesign, inclusion, and the hackathon: Codesign Studio 2013 is underway

Course poster, made by Denise.
[poster designed by Denise Cheng]

The Spring 2013 Codesign Studio is underway. Inspired by the profusion of hackathons, the frame of this semester’s course is to collaboratively design an inclusive pop-up event with our community partners. We meet weekly and both enrolled students and our partners participate in each class meeting. See our syllabus and growing resource list here:

Our goals are:

New Tactics Dialogue: Sustaining well-being and security of defenders

I've participated in a few New Tactics in Human Rights dialogues. New Tactics is a program of the Center for Victims of Torture that is committed to training, community building, and skill and experience sharing. Dialogues are online conversations held for about a week at a time on a specific topic. Kristin Antin has been at the helm of the dialogues I've been involved with. She curates a group of people who can speak to a certain topic and works with that group to discuss key issues and to propose prompt questions for dialogues.

While the dialogue is active, these members of the group participate in ongoing conversation, posting written thoughts about the prompts and responses to one another's posts. I've found participating in these to be very engaging and that people involved seem to really take time to read each other's posts and to respond, so a conversation does develop.

Civic Maps Toolkit

Where commuters run over Black children in Detroit. By the Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute:

This post written together with Chris Schweidler.

This Fall, together with DataCenter, we began developing the Civic Maps Toolkit to orient Community-Based Organizations and Grassroots Groups to the opportunities, tools and even limitations of civic mapmaking. The Center for Civic Media and DataCenter are jointly managing the toolkit development and our team of content writers includes students from the Center and enrolled in Center courses and interns with DataCenter.

The Story of StoryLine - (888) 803-9856

This post written together with Rachel Falcone.

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern seaboard and there are still a vast number of people without power, without water, without hot food, and without a home.

Housing is a Human Right (HHR) is a storytelling project led by Michael Premo and Rachel Falcone that has worked for the last five years to connect people around housing, land and the dignity of a place to call home. HHR storytelling follows a tradition of oral history and stories are richly captured and shared in multimedia including audio and photographs. They truly create space for people to share stories of their community and ongoing experiences trying to obtain or maintain a home through exhibitions. They have transformed laundromats and empty stores into storytelling spaces, and create storytelling space on multiple platforms including radio and internet.