GV Board Elections 2017: Marianne Díaz Hernández

Volunteer Representative Election

About me

I am a lawyer, fiction writer and human rights activist born in Venezuela and currently based in Santiago de Chile. I am also an open culture activist, having served for the past four years as the Creative Commons legal lead in Venezuela. I have lived a lot of different lives in the last decade, starting as a labor lawyer and going through a career as managing editor in a publishing house, founding a digital rights NGO in Venezuela, leading creative writing workshops and digital security workshops, to end up where I am now: as a researcher in public policies in the intersection between technology and human rights. Through all of this I have discovered that my vocation is to help people express themselves, and this lies at the center of everything I do, and makes Global Voices a place where I belong.

What I do at GV

I started in Global Voices back in 2010, right at the beginning of my activity as a volunteer (I have volunteered for Amnesty International and Creative Commons as well through all these years). I filled the volunteer form immediately after I learned that GV Advocacy (now Advox) existed, and how this project was working on the subject that mattered to me the most: the many different threats that online freedom of speech faced all over the world. Since then, I have served as an author for both Advox and the main GV site, as a translator for the Lingua Spanish team, and I have contributed with different projects (the dearest to my heart might be the beautiful project that is GVeX), but Advox remains my home and the place I contribute to the most. A lot of what I've done has to do with documenting abuses and threats to online freedoms in Venezuela; something I'm very proud of is the amazing coverage that our wonderful team did during the 2014 protests in the country.

About these elections

I don't really feel compelled to the field of politics, so it's unlikely you'll see me campaigning a lot, but I cherish the trust and faith that represents having been nominated for this role by a fellow GVer, and it would be for me an immense honor to have the opportunity to serve this community in a more active way and to support it as it has supported me through the last years.

For the last seven years, Global Voices has been for me a home, a family (a family that reaches every corner of the world) as well as a place where my actions can help make a difference. I want to serve as a Volunteer Representative in order to help ensure that this community can continue being for others the safe, nurturing place it has been for me.

I strongly believe that Global Voices’ biggest strength lies in its volunteers, and therefore I will strive to listen carefully to their opinions and ideas, and I will advocate for prioritizing mechanisms to give back to the community the value they bring in as volunteers, and to accompany and contribute to their personal and professional growth. I have had the opportunity to meet and spend time with many GVers in different occasions, and I feel that this has contributed to building a strong sense of what GV, as a community, values and strives to accomplish. I would incorporate those values in every action I take, and make my best effort to ensure that my perception of what GV is and wants is constantly being contrasted against the opinions and feelings of other volunteers.

At the same time, coming from a place where striving towards change also means placing ourselves in danger's way, I want to emphasize the importance of making our volunteers’ feel safe and assured, and ensure that GV is a place they can reach to if help is needed, and that the community as a whole is prepared to react quickly and effectively. It is my firm belief that in order to be able to do our work and achieve our goals as a community, our first priority should be to ensure our volunteers have the conditions to perform and to succeed.

I would also like to say that I am running against many valuable members of this community, and I would be thrilled to be represented by any of them in GV's board. I assure you that, if elected, I will abide by the same standards of transparency and dedication that I would expect from any of them.

If you want to talk about anything, related to the election or not, you can find me:
on Twitter, @mariannedh
on Facebook, /mariannediaz
on Skype, marianne.diaz.h
or via e-mail at my contact form!

A place where I feel safe. Photo by Jeremy Clarke, CC BY NC 2.0

16 comments

  • Buena suerte, Marianne!

  • amadou lamine badji

    Good luck Marianne, amadou

  • Dear Marianne:
    It is beautiful to perceive through these informations, your satisfaction with Global Voices.

    Good luck!

  • Beautiful, lovely and brilliant! Good luck, bella!

  • Good luck, Marianne.

  • Loved reading about your GV history, Marianne (and I couldn’t agree more about GVeX!) good luck to you xx

  • Hi Marianne – 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 think it’s a given that a volunteer representative should represent volunteers, i.e., give them a voice in decision-making processes. I would approach such endeavor by actively reaching out towards volunteers -individually and as communities- in order to listen and learn from their experiences, and thus gain a deeper understanding of what volunteers need and what would be useful for them to do their work as best as they can. For instance, from my personal experience as a volunteer I can glean that we need clearer security protocols in place in order to know, as a community, how to react in case one of our volunteers is in danger. I recognize that we have had advancements in the last years in this regard, but there’s still work to do. In that same sense, I would strive to ask and listen to our volunteers, and learn from them what can be improved and how. I believe it is important to have proactive communication mechanisms, and not only to have a communication channel in place for when volunteers need to tell us something.

  • Hi Marianne, thank you for capturing the essence of what I love about GV too and for all these great ideas on what your role would be as board member. Inspired by Eddie, 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!

    • Hi Sahar!

      I love the idea of “making the world look more like GV”, that’s certainly a world I would love to live in :)

      I think that striving to make the principles contained in our manifesto be at the front and center of everything we do would be the very first step for that. I also think that it might be useful for volunteers and staff to have some guidelines, derived from those principles, on how to behave when engaging with other people (people we quote or whose work we republish, organizations that collaborate with us). The way we, as individuals, behave when we’re out in the world, represents GV as a community.

      I would also love to see more cross-country or cross-regional collaboration, which is something that is always exciting when it’s done: not only on cultural coverage, but also in other matters, sometimes the best way to do the job we intend to do is to use every opportunity to create conversation across boundaries (not only geographic boundaries, but also ideological). I think this is something we are equipped to do and we are already doing, but I would love to see more of, particularly in a world that is becoming more and more sectarian.

      Thank you for the question, it was nice to have the opportunity to think more about this :)

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