Global Alliance for Local Voice advocates that marginalized people’s experiences increasingly inform our understanding of societal issues around the world. We insist that voices from communities most directly harmed by societal issues move from the margins to the center of influencing research, laws, and grassroots human rights advocacy. A main aspect of supporting this goal is to provide the international public with an open-source encrypted platform for real time dialogue, interviews, and collaboration about societal issues worldwide.
Local residents most adversely affected by social issues in their communities inform global discourse and inspire transformative grassroots relationships that reclaim globalized relationships dominated by top-down institutions.
Platform Testing and Contribution
As much as technology and resources allow, this platform is designed to: be accessible, protect privacy, enable people with similar concerns to reach each other, and enable people to communicate and collaborate across different languages and cultures. If you are interested in participating in testing the platform or contributing to this project, please email us through our “Contact Us” page.
The Reason for Our Mission and Vision
Our mission and vision are to address the problem of human disconnect that currently exists under globalization and especially impacts disadvantaged populations. We all affect each other worldwide with our daily practices, production, and consumption—from the fuel powering our transportation to our food and water, and our civic participation. These things connect all of us globally. Yet, multinational companies and elected officials mediate these relationships often in a top-down manner. Meanwhile, many of us throughout the world remain far too disconnected from the humanity behind the products we consume and the local and international laws and policies impacting people. Despite communities’ mutual impacts on one another, they can seem unreachable in many ways that reproduce marginalization. There is, for example, spatial distance between states and nations. There is also social distance between adjacent neighborhoods because of structural inequities.
Examples of this are pervasive. The human labor that produces the goods we consume remains largely unknown and abstract, while company owners speak in the spotlight about labor conditions. The same applies to the humanity behind military activity inside and outside people’s nations. Mainstream debates often fixate on a question of whether a nation’s military occupation and bombings are in the occupied nation’s best interest. Meanwhile, the general public predominantly hears elected officials speak about their nation’s military activity. GALV insists that the voices of refugees of an occupied nation, for example, must become central to understanding and determining military activity. The same applies to state force within one’s own nation. Human rights abuses in prisons are often invisible on the outside, even to people in nearby neighborhoods in the same town. Human rights abuses outside prisons, but in nations on different continents, are often more globally visible than abuses towards incarcerated people in one’s own community. People speaking out about their experiences with incarceration and the penal system must become central to informing how we understand this issue and promote human rights.
Grassroots communication is a core element our of mission, whether for human rights organizing or social research interviews. Through GALV’s platform, people around the world will be able to meet virtually for audiovisual or text based dialogue and interviews about issues impacting their communities. The site is designed to promote interaction in which:
- GALV members can feel comfortable reaching out to the global community and posting conversation requests. These can be requests for open dialogue or interviews—to interview others or be interviewed.
- GALV members engaged in dialogue mutually learn from each other about ways they are globally connected. This includes sharing perspectives from formal education and/or life experience, such as personal narratives. We believe that formal and experiential knowledge are equally valuable and inextricably supportive of one another.
- Conversations are end-to-end encrypted, so that even website administrators cannot see them.
- Local residents speak out to people around the world, near and far, about the issues harming or directly affecting them and their communities, instead of outsiders speaking ‘for’ them. In turn, people around the world learn about such issues in nearby and far away communities by hearing the perspectives of local residents who are most adversely impacted by them and live with them regularly.
- Personal communication, through face to face and voice to voice interaction, can increase empathy and reduce spatial disconnect. It can bring matters that seem unreachable, practically a world away, into the ‘here and now’ of people’s lives.
- If members wish to organize around an issue, we encourage them to plan a positive sustainable approach together. Different problems require different solutions and people know about the problems they face better than anyone else. Therefore, members can collaborate with each other to: a.) communicate what their communities need or what resources they can give; b.) determine how they can work together to create positive change; and c.) take action and support each other throughout the process.