This activity is from Popular Technology Workshops by Virginia Eubanks (@PopTechWorks).

Technology has been both a tool for positive social change and a tool for new or increased social conflict. Technology mediates many of our interactions with government, media, health, education systems, our jobs, and each other. As the role of technology has increased or changed, how are people in our communities impacted? Who is positively impacted and who is negatively impacted? Who has a voice in how the technology is built and controlled?

These activities are designed to critically examine and identify digital justice issues in our communities.

##Activity: Identify Digital Justice Issues

Often the words “problem” and “issue” are used interchangeably or sometimes a problem is mistaken as an issue. More importantly, not all issues offer the opportunity to work towards justice, dignity, equality and self-determination for all people. Choosing a DIGITAL JUSTICE ISSUE to work on early in the process will help your campaign or organization have a clear vision, build coalition with others, and avoid excluding important stakeholders.

Time Required: 45 minutes


  • A place to take notes;
  • Markers;
  • Sticky dots


1- Read the difference between a problem, issue, and social justice issue below:

Based on individual/personal issue

Ex. I might lose my job because my duties can now be done by a machine.

Ex. I can never get on the computers at the public library.
Based on a larger/community level

Ex. Technological changes have made it possible for employers to move many of the community's jobs overseas.

Ex. The community lacks low-cost or free public technology resources.
Based on larger/community issue influenced by historical or structural inequities

Ex. Middle class/unionized jobs are being moved oversees, while service jobs (at below living wage) and high-level professional jobs remain here.

Ex. The city government is investing in resources that serve creative professionals, and letting infrastructure in poor and working-class neighborhoods deteriorate

2- Each person should identify 3 digital justice issues in the community and write them down. Everyone should be able to finish in 5-10 minutes.

3- In the group, everyone should read their issues. Write down the digital justice issues on the wall.

4- Give each person three sticky dots. Using the dots, each person should vote on what three issues they feel most passionate about by putting the dot on that issue. Count up votes and identify top three.

5- Collectively, use the checklist below to help determine the strength and viability of each of those three digital justice issues as an opportunity for collective action. Write this chart in a place where everyone in the group can see it.

Issue #1 Issue #2 Issue #3 Will the issue….
yes/no yes/no yes/no Result in a real improvement in people’s lives?
      Give people a sense of their own power?
      Alter the relations of power?
      Be winnable?
      Be widely felt?
      Be deeply felt?
      Build leadership?
      Provide community access or training opportunities?

6- Based on these factors, discuss what issue would you like to work on first? Why? Write the issue where everyone in the group can see it.

Popular Technology Workshops by Virginia Eubanks (@PopTechWorks) contains a set of activities to support community organizing work around digital justice.