Diversity & Inclusion

Media Mobilizing Project wants to create a digital archive of its activism history

With the Philadelphia Social Movement Archive, the nonprofit wants to create a searchable repository of its history. But it needs $8,000 to make it happen.

Tech Company of the Year Award awarded to Mindgrub Technologies. From left: Tom Brandt of TeleCommunication Systems, Todd Marks of Mindgrub, CRTC Board of Directors President, Tim Lorello of TeleCommunication Systems. Photo credit: Wendy Hickok.

The latest project out of activism nonprofit Media Mobilizing Project is an online repository of its digital history.

With the Philadelphia Social Movement Archive, the West Philly organization looks to digitize hundreds of video tapes and establish sturdy backups of around 30 terabytes of documentation from its 13-year history, making it searchable and accessible to other groups working on similar causes.

“Media Mobilizing’s latest project is some of our most important work,” Executive Director Bryan Mercer said via email. “With the Social Movement Archive we are beginning to preserve the video footage and documentation from throughout Media Mobilizing Project’s history.”

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To make it happen, the organization is on a fundraising push: With $8,000, it will seek to build the infrastructure for the archive and developing the accessible online library.

“Making sure the stories of our social movement moments are well cataloged, easy to find, and properly preserved will be a tremendous effort,” Mercer said. “But it is an effort that is so critical right now because these past moments can offer inspiring direction for our movements, but will begin to disappear as tapes age and hard drives fail.”

MMP — whose mission is to amplify “the voices of communities fighting for justice, equity and human rights” — has led initiatives around digital literacy, net neutrality and racial and economic justice. In 2015, it notably ran an “accountability campaign” during the franchise agreement negotiations between Comcast and the City of Philadelphia.


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