GV Board Elections 2017: Gabriela Garcia Calderon

My one and only selfie.

As you've already read on the title of this post, my name is Gabriela Garcia Calderon. I've been nominated as Staff Representative for the Global Voices board elections.

I'm a Peruvian lawyer who one day discovered the unpleasantness of having to fight judicial clerks just to take a look at a file. Can you imagine a doctor fighting nurses just to let him make a physical to a patient?

It was there when Global Voices came to my life. And this discovery really changed everything for me… and I hope for GV also.

I started as volunteer translator into Spanish in November 2007 and in November 2009 was invited by then LatAm editor Eddie Avila to contribute as a volunteer author too. Besides that, I've assisted Eddie, now Rising Voices director, on the Amazonia project.

I've stepped in for Silvia Viñas, our former LatAm regional editor, during her maternity leave between December 2012 and February 2013. A year later, I was appointed acting regional editor when Silvia accepted a job elsewhere. I served there for eight months.

Now, for the past three weeks, I'm Lingua Spanish editor, which is a huge challenge after the long tenure of our previous editor.

As you can all see, I've been and still am around a lot. Besides all that, I think I'm the contributor with more posts published, a little below 8,000 so far… and counting.

A peculiarity of mine: I don't have a Facebook account. And, as you can all see, this is not necessary to have a presence in the online world. Instead, I blog a lot in Spanish for the same time I've been a GVer and take care of my Twitter account. I still practice Law, but as an arbitrator, so no more fights with clerks to take a look at files!

But enough of self-praising. What you want to hear from me is what will I do for you in case I get elected.

Fun conga line during 2015 Cebu GV Summit.

For starters, as someone who has been around a lot, I can understand the different GV positions with an inside perspective. I don't only know how things work here, I've lived through many changes we've been through as a community. So I can get GVers’, volunteer and staff alike, sentiments and can express them because I've probably been there too.

My commitment is to give everybody a voice of their own, with the secrecy some delicate situations may require. If you elect me staff representative, you can be sure I'll do my best to manage myself as I've done for the past nine and a half years: with Global Voices in my heart, with GVers sentiments in mind and with all the dedication this community, so meaningful to me, deserves.

As I love to say, Global Voices rock!

16 comments

  • Thanks for the intro, Gabriela. Good luck!

  • Gaby:
    Super dedicada, super multitarea, super atenta a los detalles. Te deseo la mejor de las suertes!

  • Good luck, Gaby.

  • J. Tadeo

    Good luck!

  • Victoria Tinta

    Very lucky Gabriela!!!!

  • Hi Gabriela – here is a question that I’m posing to all of the candidates, as a way to encourage discussion during the last couple of days of campaigning:

    1.) If you are elected board member, what would be the most critical challenge facing Global Voices that you would make your top priority to help address over the next three years? And why do you feel like addressing this challenge is especially important for our community?

    • I’ve been thinking about this, and my answer would be it’s important to be a bridge between contributores and the board. My main challenge would be to voice GVers concerns with the perspective of someone who more than once had been willing to find a channel to express myself. Whether the concern comes from a seasoned GVer or from someone who joined GV a week ago, we all count as one. Needless to say, I’d manage every issue addressed to me with the most discretion. With this, our GVers will know they have someone they can talk freely with.
      Global Voices is a volunteer-driven community, and if our volunteers are happy, GV is happy and productive. Then our readers, the ones consume what we produce, would be able to tell it and will surely come back.

  • Gabby, thank you for this lovely post! I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more praise about one of our most dedicated contributors!

    Following Eddie’s lead, I’m asking all the candidates a question too.

    Do you have any thoughts on how Global Voices can scale the trust we’ve built internally in our community to larger audiences outside of our community, so we can make more of the world look like GV?

    I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers to this question. In fact, I’m not sure I have answers myself (!), but would love to hear any thoughts that it inspires.

    Good luck in the election!

    • Dear Sahar:

      I think making more of the world look like GV is terribly difficult task as I think GV is like no other place in the world (really!)… but I’ll try to answer your question.

      Another reason for this to be a hard task is because we have to deal with mental frameworks that go back a long, long way. People are used to mistrust “the other” as we naturally tend to reject what we don’t know, what we see as different from us.

      But we have two words that have a key role here: tolerance and empathy.

      Tolerance is what makes us go along with people who don’t think or don’t look or don’t live like we do. What makes us accept we are different but we still can be friends. Not because I don’t share others’ tastes I will dismiss someone from my life. I love mint, but not many people like mint as I do. This doesn’t mean I will barr someone from my life just because they don’t like mint. Sometimes, a silly example makes easier to make a point.

      The other word is empathy, and by that I understand seeing life from the eyes of the other. To put ourselves in others’ shoes, to try to understand their points of view and fears even though they are completely unfamiliar to us.

      I learned both lessons from my favorite literary character, an extraordinary guy called Atticus Finch. To kill a mockingbird really showed me and taught me one person can make a huge difference.

      So, if we could just apply some tolerance and empathy around, knowing our differences but respecting them and going along with that knowledge, we’d surely have a better world. GV is all about tolerance and empathy (and many other cool things), so it’s the perfect place for anyone and everyone.

      :D

  • Good exchange of information from your own perspective.
    Good luck, dear Gaby.

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