As we all know, February is Black History Month. It’s a month where we honor those who have made an impact on American culture for equal rights, those who have invented, those who have a helped others and those who have inspired everyone to be the best they can be, not only as a person of color but as a human.
As someone in the technology/web/social space, I often travel and attend various events in the industry and notice a huge lack of diversity, and when it comes to getting attention from mainstream media/tech blogs it’s almost impossible. That’s why I’m starting 28 Days of Diversity on SocialWayne.com. The goal of 28 Days of Diversity is to feature someone new everyday for the month of February for just being awesome in their own right. The list will include some of leaders in the social web space, startups, bloggers, conference organizers, IT professionals and friends not ranked in any particular order. Each post will include a picture, bio, two links from the selected person and this paragraph. So for the next 28 days, come back to visit SocialWayne.com to see who’s on the list. For day five, I would like to introduce to some and present to others: Gina McCauley
Called “the Dean of Black Bloggers” and “a woman who’s on the cutting edge of the internet and social media,” Gina McCauley is one of the most influential African American digital media content creators in the world. In 2007, she was named to ESSENCE magazine’s list of the 25 Most Influential African Americans. She has written for ESSENCE magazine and ESSENCE.com, The Guardian, and The Observer.
In 2007 she launched What About Our Daughters?, a blog dedicated to combating negative portrayals of African-American women in popular culture. The blog’s mission is to be uncompromising,unapologetic, and unbowed in defense of Black women. The blog is most well known for its fight to combat negative portrayals of African American women in popular culture and violence against Black women and children, but has evolved into an influential platform, sitting perched at the intersection of pop culture, Politics, and current affairs. Her blog readers have successfully lobbied large advertisers such as State Farm, Home Depot, McDonald’s, New Balance, Disney, and Yum Brands to pull their advertising from content that demeans and degrades Black women and girls. However, her greatest achievement is using the platform that she built to battle irresponsible corporate media as a platform to highlight underreported cases of horrific violence against Black women such as the Dunbar Village case, Romona Moore, and Dorothy Dixon.
In 2008, she launched Michelle Obama Watch, a blog dedicated to monitoring the good, the bad, and the ugly media coverage of Michelle Obama. Within hours after its soft launch, MichelleObamaWatch.com was linked to by Salon.com and the Huffington Post. She has since been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and quoted in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune,Newsweek, The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, the Norwegian Business Daily and others about her work on Michelle Obama Watch. Her blog posts have been quoted or mentioned on CNN, Entertainment Tonight, and the CBS Morning Show. She appeared on PBS and NDTV, India’s largest private producer of news, to speak about Michelle Obama. She has been interviewed regarding my blog on several NPR shows, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, RTE Radio 1 in Ireland, and XM radio.
Her blog posts for the Guardian about the aftermath of Hurricane Ike were licensed to Cenage Learning and appear in the textbook Current Controversies: Disaster Response (vol. 1). In November 2009, Pacifica Radio launched her first syndicated radio segment on the show Woman, Body and Soul.
She is the managing member of the McCauley Communications Group, LLC and in 2008, in response to a lack of diversity at large social media and networking conferences, she founded Blogging While Brown, the first international conference for bloggers of color. In addition to designing and implementing the curriculum for digital literacy training, she is a frequent presenter at some of the largest social media conferences in the world, including Blogher and Blog World Expo. This year she’ll be speaking at SXSW Interactive and returning to speak at Blogher.
Come back tomorrow to see who’s next on the list.