I have always preached to my students that twitter is a powerful tool, not simply a toy where under the cloak of anonymity people can say outrageous things for an audience. So I always like to highlight ways where I have used twitter to make meaningful connections.

August 22nd was Black Womens’ Equal Pay Day, the day in the year where black women have to work to earn as much as white men did in the previous year (so basically a year and 8 months). I was listening to Morning Joe on MSNBC and heard about Minda Harts and her new book, The Memo.

The interview was engaging, and since Dillard is over 70% women, I thought to myself that she would be a great speaker (it was one of those times I wish I was still doing the Brain Food lecture series). So I decided to tweet about the interview:

I made sure to tag our women’s groups so they would be aware of the book. As I had hoped, Minda replied:

Less than 2 months later, Minda was on campus for a lunch time discussion. Unfortunately, I was out of town so we didn’t get to meet in person but we did have a chance to speak by phone.

I believe social media can be used for good, although it also provides a vehicle for people to spew hate and anger. But used strategically, it can open up new opportunities and connect people who may not have been able to meet during a previous era.

So at least some of the time, think of twitter as a tool, not a toy.

The Prez

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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