Dd’s 10th Birthday Party!

author: Emily Jacobi
date: 2018-12-19
title: Dd’s 10th Birthday Party!
categories: – blog
image: https://images.digital-democracy.org/assets/birthday_party-1600@2x.jpg

How do you celebrate 10 years of an organization? Last month, the Digital
Democracy team answered that question with a 10th birthday party, thanks to
sponsorship from Mapbox, Saucey, and a fabulous volunteer host committee in San
Francisco, California.

We were thrilled that over 100 people joined us to celebrate with food, music,
interactive maps, tech demos, dancing — and even birthday cake. It was
a joyous occasion, with some of Dd’s longest supporters as well as new friends.
Check out the photos here, with
thanks to photographers Kersh Branz and Rajkumar

For me, it was an honor to tell the story of the early days of Digital
Democracy, and how our work has evolved over the past decade. Despite the
ways our team has grown and our programs have changed, the core of our work
remains the same: to work in solidarity with marginalized communities who are
using technology to defend their environmental and human rights. The evening
was a special moment to mark this anniversary and invite others to get involved
in our work in the future.

One of the highlights of the evening was a presentation by Oswando “Opi”
Nenquimo, the director of Waorani Territory Mapping for Dd’s partner
organization Alianza Ceibo. He shared a powerful story of his homeland, his
journey to becoming an advocate for his people, and his work with Alianza
Ceibo, Amazon Frontlines & Digital Democracy to defend Waorani Territory
against threats to their future, including new oil concessions.

In addition to celebrating our first 10 years of work, we shared our vision for
what comes next. Through our partnership with indigenous communities in the
Amazon, we’ve built powerful tools for environmental advocacy. In the coming
year our goal is to deepen our support for our existing partners in the Amazon,
and bring these tools to frontline communities around the world who are
requesting them. In the face of the growing threats of climate change & global
, we asked for support to make 2019 our most ambitious year yet. From
the party & efforts of our host committee, we were able to raise $8,500. This
is a significant step towards our goal to raise $100,000 by early next year, an
amount which will be matched by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. One third of
the proceeds from the evening will go to Opi’s organization, Alianza Ceibo, to
support their critical work in the year to come.

How you can get involved

Whether you attended the party or had to miss it, we invite you to get involved & support our efforts in the year to come. Here are some simple next steps you can take:

  • Support the Waorani Resistance Campaign! Sign the petition calling on oil companies to listen to Waorani communities who are resisting oil on the territory.
  • Please contribute to our 10th Anniversary campaign. You can make a tax deductible donation to Digital Democracy via our donate page, or by sending a check to 4953 Desmond St, Oakland CA 94618.
  • If you’re interested in volunteering on our code, helping with translations or hosting a fundraising event for Dd, please get in touch!
  • We’re compiling our lessons learned and planning to share more stories about our programs & partners. I’d love to hear your own stories and memories from our first 10 years.

Huge thanks to all who made the evening a success, from the attendees, DJ Such
n’ Such (Julian Mocine-McQueen), & sponsors Mapbox & Saucey. Extra thanks to
host committee members Marena Brinkhurst, Vanice Dunn, Janet Harris, Shoshanna
Howard, Bhavik Lathia, Austen Levihn-Coon, Mike Migurski & Justin Winters.

Want to relive some of our work from the past decade? View this slideshow of images from Digital Democracy’s first 10 years: