Vozmob Gives Immigrants Phones To Share Their Lives
In the age of the internet, it only makes sense that everyone be given the opportunity to document their lives, or perhaps others’, for the world to see.
A project born of a collaboration between the Institute of Popular Education of Southern California and the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, “Vozmob” short for Voces Moviles (Mobile Voices) has given immigrants a chance to have their voices heard and their lives seen.
In August, the program began with a number of grants from various foundations. Among the grants was $40,000 worth of cell phones to train the immigrants and laborers. The phones were distributed to local job centers so people could be shown how to text and upload photos and videos.
Coordinating the project for the institute is Amanda Garces who hopes that, some day, laborers will become more comfortable with technology.
The idea is to give immigrants and low-wage workers in Los Angeles, California, an online outlet to share opinions and stories, but also protecting themselves. By teaching people to text, photograph, and record videos on their phones, they’re being given the opportunity to take pictures of where they work, the license plates of the people they work, and other information that would prove useful is they were mistreated or not paid.
During a phone demonstration with about 20 laborers, Garces told the men, ‘This gives you the tools to tell your own story and not let others tell it for you.’