Black Twitter, Women’s Rights, and the Economics of Equality Sessions at SXSW 2019

The Social & Global Impact Track features nonprofits, foundations, activists, and entertainers contributing to a better and more equitable world. Deep dive into sessions highlighting their initiatives and innovations spreading social good.

"In a world of growing social consciousness, the Social & Global Impact Track highlights all things contributing to a better and more equitable world," says SXSW Programmer Katie Perera. "These sessions showcase innovative and creative ways to solve the world’s most pressing social problems and provide attendees with practical ways to make a difference themselves."

Learn how Black Twitter amplifies a collective voice and creates community, how we can fight for women's rights in the age of rising fundamentalisms, and how to advocate for the women who are impacted by global immigration laws, along with many other topics during the Social & Global Impact Track Sessions from March 8-13 at the SXSW Conference Take a look a some of the programming highlights below. Enjoy these sessions and so much more in the Social & Global Impact Track with primary access for all badgeholders.

Social & Global Impact Session Highlights

We Tried to Tell Y’all: Black Twitter As A Source

Speakers: Meredith Clark (University of Virginia), Feminista Jones (, Mia Moody-Ramirez (Baylor University), and L. Joy Williams (Political Strategist and Host of #Sundaycivics)

Black Twitter is a cultural identity consisting of "Black" Twitter users from around the world on the Twitter social network focused on issues of interest to the black community, particularly in the United States. Panelist Feminista Jones describes Black Twitter as "a collective of active, primarily African-American Twitter users who have created a virtual community ... [and are] proving adept at bringing about a wide range of sociopolitical changes." Our focus for this panel is about how Black women are creating community and sparking change via social media and digital communities, how Black humor – over the centuries – offers insights into the intersections of race, gender and politics, and how Black Twitter should be recognized as a news subculture.

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Rising Fundamentalisms and Women's Rights

Speaker: Musimbi Kanyoro (Global Fund for Women)

More than ever, recent gains in women’s rights are under threat, with justifications in the name of religion, culture, and tradition. The rise in fundamentalisms presents a global phenomenon in which religions and cultural norms work to legitimize rigid and totalitarian beliefs and practices, and to promote intolerance. With a problem like this that impacts women from all parts of the world – how can we sustainably respond to fundamentalisms that live and thrive in our own communities? Global Fund for Women President and CEO Musimbi Kanyoro explains how with the proper resources and global solidarity, women’s movements can effectively fight back.

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The Economics of Equality

Speaker: Alaa Murabit (United Nations)

Dr. Murabit provides a fresh perspective on the existing and emerging global challenges plaguing the world by arguing that inclusive socio-political spaces are the solution to disrupt said challenges and to re-envision a much brighter and prosperous future for all. Based on hard empirical evidence, stories of everyday people changing the world, and on her own personal experiences and collected evidence – this is a session for today’s and tomorrow’s leaders.

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The Women Impacted By US Border & Immigration Laws

Speakers: Atossa Araxia Abrahamian (The Nation), Robyn Barnard (Human Rights First), Pilar Guzman (Condé Nast Traveler), and Cecile Richards (Cecile Richards)

Under the current administration, the US has been developing and maintaining border and immigration policies that impact women around the world. Whether it’s those being separated from their families under family separation laws, those struggling to gain access to asylum in the US after fleeing domestic violence situations, those unable to access proper reproductive care abroad, or those banned from entering the country under current travel policy, women continue to be on the receiving end of policies largely created and enforced by men. This panel will give an intimate and firsthand look at the ways in which these and other US border policies and immigration laws are impacting women around the world and, importantly, what’s next.

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Phenomenal Women: Black, Demonized and Deified

Speaker: Jehmu Greene (Fox News)

Recently crowned the most educated group in the U.S. and leading all demographics in voter turnout, Black women are still underrepresented in elected office, private sector jobs, and corporate leadership. Armed with an arsenal of insights and anecdotes from her work as a community organizer, entertainment industry executive, entrepreneur, and progressive commentator on Fox News, Jehmu will examine how Black women are often demonized and deified and how we are reclaiming our time and seizing the reins of power. The talk will layout an innovative framework of policies needed to sustain and support Black women’s leadership.

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Feature Image Photo by Travis Lilley

By Nicole Cappabianca