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Staying ahead of human rights & press freedom offenders: Why we’re going to Netroots

May 21, 2012

For immediate release, Monday, May 21, 2012

Washington, May 17, 2012—Lauren Wolfe, who heads a human rights project for the Women’s Media Center (WMC), will discuss the governmental challenges humanitarian activists face in using new technology during a gathering of progressive leaders in Rhode Island next month.

Wolfe will participant in the panel “Safeguarding Democracy: Innovations in Technology and Human Rights” in Providence from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., Saturday, June 9, at Netroots Nation, a national conference of bloggers, newsmakers, social justice advocates, labor and organizational leaders, grassroots organizers and online activists.

“Those who violate human rights and suppress the media are doing so with ever more sophisticated means,” said Wolfe, director of WMC’s Women Under Siege project, which uses research, action and wireless technology to document and end sexualized violence in conflict.  “We have to stay steps ahead of them and combat these practices in a way that protects ourselves, our sources, and our basic human rights.”

The panel will be moderated by Sabrina Hersi, digital director at Be Bold Media, a digital media firm that runs online and mobile campaigns for organizers around the world. Others on the panel are Matisse Busto Hawkes, who provides creative and strategic leadership on digital communications for WITNESS, an international nonprofit organization that uses the power of video and storytelling to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses; Caitlin Howarth, a Roosevelt Institute Pipeline Fellow focusing on human security and humanitarian technology; and Emily Jacobi, co-founder and executive director of Digital Democracy, a New York-based nonprofit that works globally to empower marginalized communities to harness technology to fight for their human rights.

Wolfe is an award-winning journalist who has written for publications from The Atlantic to  She was previously the senior editor of the Committee to Protect Journalists, where she focused on journalists and sexualized violence. She studied at Wesleyan University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and is the recipient of four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Women's Media Center makes women and girls visible and powerful in the media by working with the media to ensure that women’s stories are told and women’s voices are heard. The Center does this in the following ways: media advocacy campaigns, media monitoring for sexism, creating original content, training women and girls to participate in media, and connecting women experts with the media. The Center was founded in 2005 as a non-profit women’s media organization by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem.

For more information, contact Cristal Williams Chancellor, media relations manager, or 202-587-1636. She will be attending Netroots Nation, along with Michelle Kinsey Bruns, WMC online manager.