Today is as good a day as any to officially relaunch my personal blog! Amidst all the celebrations, digital and otherwise, for International Women’s Day 2018, ITID Journal, the highest-ranked journal for the field of ICTs for Development (ICT4D) has published its special issue on Gender, Mobile, and Mobile Internet. I am honored to have my work featured in this issue (free to download). Nonetheless, it remains a bittersweet triumph.
Just before learning that my article was accepted for publication on a topic so very near and dear to my heart, tragedy struck me and my family. Just about 1.5 years ago I lost my dear niece, Sariyah Green, in a car accident that also claimed my brother and nephew. Just like that, one of my favorite girls in education was taken away, and to this day I continue to struggle with her absence.
In the aftermath, I was touched by the kind statements released about Sariyah from her elementary school that highlighted her excitement to be enrolled, to learn, to lead her brother when he finally joined her at the same school… All things I was so proud of her for taking joy in. She loved going to school and I am thankful I was able to see her perform in a class musical production on one of my visits home to Florida.
Sariyah remains with me everyday and I dedicate this journal article to her loving memory. She would be devastated to know that over 130 million girls remain out of school and are kept from attending school consistently. But I know she would also be equally inspired by the plight of the secondary school girls I worked with because of their determination to remain in school against all odds. Their creative use of mobile technology to access educational content after school keeps me awe-struck and hopeful that one day all girls will have equal access to the institution my niece loved so much.
Although Sariyah will never have the opportunity to go to high school, I know that she’s using #BlackGirlMagic from above to ensure that each and every girl gets that opportunity. I also know she’s supporting me in what I do, and that helps me in the moments when I feel down about her absence.
I hope you all enjoy the article, and I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below! Happy International Women’s Day to you all!