Spelman College Celebrates Digital Innovation in Filmmaking and Mass Communication

The Reel Women Film Showcase at the Twelve Hotel Centennial Park began simply enough, with a panel discussion regarding advances in and best uses of social media. But less than halfway through the discussion, audience members had become so engaged that they held on to every word uttered by the members of the impressive panel of women experts.

The exchanges between the speakers and listeners looked more like a beautifully choreographed dance than the standard Q & A session, and the information presented proved to be an invaluable resource, according to those who attended.

“These women are on the forefront of cutting edge technology. Their first-hand accounts of how they established and expanded their networks is not the kind of information you can come by readily. This is a celebration of women and the connections we make on and offline,” said Roman James of Actors Innovative Resource and a member of the Digital Moving Image Salon.

“The Digital Doyennes: Wisdom from the Women Who Lead in Social Media and Digital Innovation” is the first in a series of discussions and workshops offered by Spelman’s Reel Women Film Showcase. Panelist Ananda Leeke, founder of Digital Sisterhood Month, explained that the women in her life led her to explore technology and its potential applications.

“From the girlfriend in law school to my mom to the women’s conference … I ended up managing Internet promotions before domain names were even talked about in the tech world … and that’s when I got so deep into it that I couldn’t come back, and I won’t come back,” declared the popular blogger. Leeke is currently writing Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir and Love’s Troubadours (Symon: Book Two).

“Technology is important, but there is a reason why they call it ‘social media’ — relationships are more important,” adds panelist Gina McCauley, referencing the solitary nature of blogging. McCauley is the founder of the websites What About Our Daughters, Blogging While Brown and Michelle Obama Watch. Other members of the panel included Erica Hartfield, a digital producer at Everywhere; Angela Conyers Benton, CEO of Black Web Media; and Jacqui Chew, principal of iFusion Marketing.

Spelman’s Digital Moving Image Salon is a mechanism through which the college encourages and supports the growing number of students interested in creating stories for digital media platforms. –roz edward

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