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Written up by: Jaime Westendarp

The Better Internet Initiative operates as a social media creator fellowship program, bringing together 150 creators with a collective audience of 50 million. This program takes on the challenge of countering misinformation online by equipping creators with fact-based, progressive impact messaging. On a deeper level, this year-long “learning through action” initiative is meticulously crafted to empower creators to evolve into changemakers, encouraging them to discover their unique voice within social and environmental issues.

As a part of this transformative journey, we organized an in-person learning experience in LA for our fellows, with a specific focus on fostering dialogue around violence against women and girls—an issue often evaded on social media.

During the event, we delved into the nuanced and niche challenges of being an “impact creator,” offering immersive learning experiences spanning food systems, activist burnout, and more. The program culminated in a vulnerable and expansive conversation about gender violence, concluding with a soothing piano sound bath.

The impact was immediate and profound. Post-experience, approximately half of the creators shared a newfound awakening regarding the significance of addressing gender violence, leading many to create content on the subject.

The broader impact is immeasurable and compounding. We, the creators, now function as role models or “digital community organizers,” influencing hundreds of thousands to millions of people. Addressing gender violence involves inculturation and narrative, and we believe that a mere Zoom conversation wouldn’t have landed the issue so powerfully with our creators. The in-person, artful, and experiential elements proved crucial in creating the conditions for genuine care and fostering a transformative experience.