The 14th Annual Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit focused on “Viral Voices: Advocacy in the Digital Age,” specifically the role social media sites have played in launching movements, such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo, and creating change within society.
Held on Oct. 17 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre, the panel was moderated by Asa Stackel ’12, a news anchor at News Channel 13 in Albany, N.Y., and featured:
• Brandi Boatner, social and influencer communications lead for global markets for IBM Corporate Communications in New York City;
• Gina Iliev, health equity coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York;
• Dr. Latoya Lee, assistant professor of sociology at SUNY Oswego; and
• Jeff Knauss ’07, co-founder of Digital Hyve in Syracuse, N.Y., and a member of the Oswego College Foundation Board of Directors.
The panelists noted that while social media fuels important conversation, action needs to take place in order to see real change. Dr. Lee noted how many social media users become “slacktivists,” meaning they simply advocate for change on social media but do not take action in the real world.
Digital activism must be accompanied by voting and other legislative responses in order to create change. Taking to social media, however, is an important first step, Iliev said.
Founded in 2005 by Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77 and renamed by Borrelli and Al Roker ’76 through a generous gift in 2007 in honor of their mentor, the annual day-long event welcomes media professionals to campus to discuss timely issues in today’s society, as well as connect with current students and offer advice on how to be active media consumers.
The 15th Annual Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit will be held on Oct. 23.
From left are Asa Stackel ’12, Gina Iliev, Lou Borrelli ’77, President Deborah F. Stanley, Brandi Boatner, Dr. Latoya Lee and Jeff Knauss ’07.