Posted January 24th 2011 at 10:23 am by
in Media Mindfulness

Technology & Youth Engagement in Communities in Crisis (Dept. of Play 2011 kick-off meeting – You're invited)

The Department of Play (DoP) is a working group of researchers, students, and community practitioners at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media who share a common value: the design of new technology and methodologies to support youth as active participants in their local communities.

The DoP Community Working Group gathers educators, activists and community practitioners together with MIT/Harvard researchers once a month to form partnerships and to pilot the tools & curricula they hope to develop collaboratively.


You are invited to this month’s Department of Play Community Working Group discussion, Youth Participation in Haiti: New Ways of Sharing, Organizing and Engaging. Representatives from Youth Build International and Haitian Coalition of Somerville will speak about working directly with youth and young adults in Haiti.

Questions on the table:

• How does your organization attract, engage and mobilize youth in communities in crisis?

• What role might technology play in engagement efforts? (technology broadly defined to include texting, cell phones, radio, web, GPS, et cetera)

When & Where:

Monday January 24th at 6:00 p.m.

Room 240 of the MIT Media Lab, Building E14.

Food will be provided.

Special guests:

YouthBuild International is proud to announce the launch of YouthBuild IDEJEN Rebuilding Academy, a major initiative in partnership with a highly respected Haitian non-profit, IDEJEN. Together we will mobilize 9,000 Haitian young people over the next five years to play a leading role in rebuilding their earthquake-devastated nation. Young people will work and be trained at 12 centers located in urban and rural locations across Haiti. This project builds on a four year partnership between YouthBuild International and IDEJEN, in which Haitian youth learned construction skills and built community centers and sanitation blocks at four sites in response to the hurricanes that struck Haiti in 2005.

• The Haitian Coalition of Somerville has made a number of visits to Haiti since the devastating earthquake. They have spent most of their time in the camps in Port-au-Prince. The camps range in population from a few hundred to 2,000. Most people in the camps are under 40 year old, with many children and youths. Small grassroots NGOs like the Haitian Coalition have had a strong presence in the camps. The Haitian Coalition is starting up a program on “empowerment training” to teach computer skills to kids in the camps. They have about 25-40 computers and want to establish a training center (computer lab) in a school that exists today.

Please contact for more information.

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