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That Could Be Your Sister

That Could Be Your Sister

New York Public Radio (WNYC) and Global Kids

Program Summary

Many teenagers report that their social media feeds are packed with lewd headlines like “exposing hos” and “smut lists” accompanied by explicit images and viral videos of classmates, friends, and strangers that have been viewed thousands of times. Images are posted, commented on, and shared with thousands on sites like Twitter and Facebook, and the repercussions can be especially damaging to the psyches and everyday lives of the young people victimized in the images.

“That Could Be Your Sister” was conceived by Temitayo Fagbenle, a participant in WNYC’s youth media program, Radio Rookies, who has reported extensively on sexual cyber-bullying. A Facebook page and Twitter handle were created to begin to educate and spread positive activism around the issue. In April 2013, Temitayo moderated a town hall on sexual cyber-bullying, where over 70 people came together to talk about the issue. Again and again, participants stated that when inappropriate content is reported to the social media sites, it is often dismissed or goes unresolved because victims are frequently too ashamed to speak out. Since then, Rookies and Global Kids have worked together to envision a digital tool that could energize people around helping to remove these damaging images from the web, and empower schools and after-school programs to create That Could Be Your Sister sites (online resources for responsible reporting of sexual cyberbullying and support for the victims).

Radio Rookies and the youth leadership organization, Global Kids, respectfully request a grant of $10,000 from the Project:Connect Summer Youth Programming Competition, to host a “That Could Be Your Sister” Design Challenge for 50 NYC teenagers at WNYC/New York Public Radio’s The Greene Space in August 2013. The event will engage young people in the creation of a social app that would allow for better reporting and awareness of sexual cyberbullying.


The ultimate goal of the Design Challenge will be to tap the enthusiasm and creativity of young people and combine their ideas with the technical knowledge of Mozilla Foundation coders and designers, such as Jess Klein. To ensure that young people will shape the vision of the event, Temitayo Fagbenle will be hired part-time for the summer to take a lead role in organizing the event. As a member of the Hive Youth Council, Temitayo and teenagers from the Hive Learning Network NYC will create a youth-driven event that emphasizes creativity and fun.

The Design Challenge will push teenagers to carefully consider realistic use of the That Could Be Your Sister app: what will inspire their peers to take action? What action is most needed to catalyze the conversation? What kind of leadership and support would it require to be successful? And how will any resulting social app and community building tool be used in the classroom and after-school programs?

That Could Be Your Sister Design Challenge 2013
Location: WNYC’s Jerome L. Greene Performance Space
Date: August 3, 2013, 10:30am-5:30pm

10:30 – Participants arrive, mingle and get snacks

11:00 – Youth MC Welcome and Icebreaker: Teen hosts welcome 50 participants, give an overview of the day, and lead the group in an icebreaker activity.

11:20-12:30 – Intro to That Could Be Your Sister: Youth break into five groups of ten and listen to an excerpt of Temitayo’s story on sexual cyberbullying. Youth moderators lead each group in conversation about the scope of the problem. The hosts introduce the idea of a “That Could Be Your Sister” social app. Hosts present the possibility of a technical tool that would build community, educate, and help students support victims.

12:30-1:00 – Lunch

1:00-4:00 – Design Challenge: Participants are broken into teams of five, grouped with people they know from their schools or summer programs, to brainstorm ideas for creating online tools that reflect real-world connections. They will be given the challenge of creating a five minute presentation pitching the most exciting and effective iteration of a That Could Be Your Sister app. There will be cash prizes and gifts for the winning teams.
1:00-2:00 – What is lacking? What is needed? Identify how a social app could fill a void. Youth and adult moderators will encourage teens to be specific and concrete. Brainstorm on possible solutions.
2:00-4:00 – Design and create 5-minute pitch presentation using Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker or Google Present or Slides (adult and youth moderators will guide the technical process) on the Ultimate That Could Be Your Sister Social App, building on the connections of real-world communities, including school, afterschool programs, church, etc.

4:00-5:15 – Pitches
Each team presents 5-minute pitch of their iteration of the App. Judges, a mix of youth and adults, will rate them on a set rubric.

5:15-5:30 – Winners Announced & Closing Remarks
Youth MCs announce 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and offer closing remarks.

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