Why I’m Experiencing Triumph and Tragedy on #IWD2018

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!


  1. Leonardo
    March 8, 2018 / 5:09 pm

    It is fantastic, Ronda. I’m really proud of you. May the success follow you always.

    • Ronda Zelezny-Green
      March 8, 2018 / 7:50 pm

      Awww Leo thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind words. Big hugs and I hope we meet soon!

  2. Jessica
    March 8, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    Very touching and I’m so sorry for your loss, Ronda. Thank you for sharing ?

    • Ronda Zelezny-Green
      March 8, 2018 / 7:49 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Jessica. I hope you are well!

  3. Terlisa Perry
    March 8, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    I’m so very proud of you and all the accomplishments you’ve made over the years. I know all your love ones your dad, brother, niece, nephew, grandmother, uncle are smiling down on you. Continue to reach for the stars young lady. Awesome article

    • Ronda Zelezny-Green
      March 8, 2018 / 9:01 pm

      Thank you so much, Terlisa. I hope you’re right. It is the thought that they’re all with me that keeps me going!

  4. Tosin James
    March 8, 2018 / 10:11 pm

    This is inspiring Ronda, I am sorry for your loss and I know your continued efforts will be appreciated by people all over the world. Keep shining!

    • Ronda Zelezny-Green
      March 9, 2018 / 12:04 pm

      Tosin, I am glad I was able to inspire. It was a fine line to walk given the seriousness of it, but I am hopeful I can continue doing right by Sariyah.

  5. Sam Ajadi
    March 8, 2018 / 10:12 pm

    I’m really proud of you Ronda! Thanks for sharing.

    • Ronda Zelezny-Green
      March 9, 2018 / 12:03 pm

      Awww Sam! That means a lot to me. Thank you!

  6. Vusani Ramadzhia
    March 9, 2018 / 10:43 am

    I read this profile. It is amazing. After going through this I motivated to pursue my LLM in ICT Policy. Definitely I will eventually get there.

  7. Juddie Omondi
    March 9, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    So touching and yet so fascinating. She is resting with the angels. The journal is awesome and I look forward to working with you in the future endeavors towards promotion of girl child education.

    • Ronda Zelezny-Green
      March 10, 2018 / 9:31 pm

      Dear Juddie, thank you for all the friendship and support you have provided me since 2012. Certainly without you, much of what I have achieved would not be possible. I too look forward to future collaborations!

  8. March 10, 2018 / 9:25 pm

    Ronda, I’m so very proud of you for taking this step and sharing this very personal post with us. Sariyah is definitely smiling down, proud of her aunty and all your achievements. Keep gong sis!

    • Ronda Zelezny-Green
      March 10, 2018 / 9:30 pm

      Dearest Ramat, thank you once again for being there for me in one of the worst possible times of my life. Like a sister. I hope I can only live up to Sariyah’s sweet memory!

  9. Chipo
    April 23, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    Once again so sorry for your loss Ronda but I am also convinced Sariyah is with you and using #BlackGirlMagic from above to ensure that each and every girl gets that opportunity.

    • Ronda Zelezny-Green
      April 23, 2018 / 10:14 pm

      Dear Chipo, thank you so much for the kind words. Women like you inspire me and let me know Sariyah is helping us all reach our highest heights!!!

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