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Giving Back: Animikii at the University of Victoria

April 9, 2019

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Photo Credit: Alyssa Arbuckle


On April 9, 2019, Animikii Thunderbird Jen Polack was at the Digital Scholarship Commons at the University of Victoria’s MacPherson Library located on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen (Songhees) Peoples to give a workshop on Social Media for Social Enterprises.

Jen spoke about social media and how we can use it to make the world a better place for our communities.

We caught up with Jen on her return to see how the workshop went, what her takeaways were, and what she found to be the most impactful part of the event. 

social2Animikii: Why did you decide to attend the event?

Jen: I actually reached out to a mentor of mine from when I was a student at the University of Victoria and asked if she knew if anyone at Uvic would be interested in my Social Media for Social Enterprises workshop. Turns out, a lot of people were! From that email, we were able to connect with Sara Humphreys who teaches a social media course in the Professional Communications program who set up the speaking event at the library in the Digital Commons.

Animikii: How did you contribute to the event?

Jen: I spoke about how to use social media holistically by grounding yourself in your values and letting your whole strategy be inspired (or edited) by those values. We also went through some engagement strategies and discussed how Animikii incorporates our values into every aspect of our company.

Animikii: What part of the event did you find the most impactful?social3

Jen: I really appreciated the enthusiasm of the people who attended and their thoughtful questions. We are all so used to social media today, so when someone like me comes in and suggests a new and better way of using social media it’s really great to have an audience that engages thoughtfully with the material, asks interesting questions, and challenges the material. By doing that, I am also learning from their life experience and can adapt my strategies, even more, to be more inclusive of a variety of perspectives.

Animikii: Why do you think it’s important for Animikii to reach out in this kind of capacity?

social4Jen: I really believe that anything that’s worth doing, on a large scale, cannot be accomplished in one lifetime. Therefore, it is crucial that we as an organization reach out to youth across Turtle Island to talk about what we’ve learned, why we do what we do, and how we’re doing it. By sharing our best practices with youth, we hope that moving forward, they’ll adopt some of our practices into their own organizations in the future.

Animikii: Which of the 7 Grandfather teachings was most expressed at the event?

social1

Jen: The most prevalent teaching that I noticed at the workshop was Respect. The room was diverse, with people from a variety of different backgrounds, but we were able to listen to engage in a dialogue that was sensitive to everyone’s culture and identity. This may be a weird thing to say about a social media workshop, but the thing is when you base your job on principles that you also base your identity on, the overlap makes your work very, very personal, so the Respect that was shown in the room was really quite inspiring.

April 9, 2019

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