PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 13 /EMWNews/ -- On August 17, 2008 BlackstarVillage, a revolutionary community-building platform, will launch therefore empowering anyone over 18 with a computer and Internet connection to create positive social, economic and political change in Black communities around the globe. BlackstarVillage creates an authentic experience by encouraging user-generated content from members or "solutionaries" which include audio, video, images and text. Content on the easy-to-navigate platform is organized around Passion Platforms or 15 areas of social activism which include human and civil rights, politics, education and youth outreach, roots and culture, environment and women's rights. Users can explore Passion Platforms by downloading factsheets in addition to searching content filtered by subcategories such as gang and community violence, female genital mutilation, or landmines. Members first create a "base" or profile page which lists their interests, skills and goals. To promote online safety, members are able to manage privacy settings which limit who can view their base. After creating a base, members can begin connecting with people who share similar interests. Advanced search tools let members browse bases by cause, geography, gender and lifestyle options. In this way, members can build an incredibly powerful base of supporters ready to collectively tackle poverty, environmental racism, police brutality and malaria. By taking advantage of the Grassroots Action Center, Resource Library, and powerful, easy-to-use tools members can: organize, collaborate, communicate and share information, or plan, publicize and find grassroots events. Those seeking further involvement can apply to the CommuniJo or Ambassador program. The first program recruits citizens to become community journalists that write and report about local community issues. Ambassadors serve as official dignitaries and the public face of Blackstar. "BlackstarVillage marks a significant change in how members of our community become engaged in social activism and life-long learning," says Candi Reddick, Director of Marketing & Community Relations. Commenting on its release date, Reddick states, "BlackstarVillage launches on Marcus Garvey's birthday as a tribute to the Jamaican-born leader who built the largest Black mass movement in history. It is a humble effort to continue his legacy and is the first-of-its-kind to integrate world-class social media tools and applications into one powerful, user-friendly platform to uplift Black communities." Additionally, BlackstarVillage will soon add three indispensable resources-an idea bank, dynamic project database, and Communiversity. Each will empower people to share, critique, expand and replicate the best practices, ideas and field projects of solutionaries. The Communiversity will offer real-world education delivered through a user's web browser. Classes and workshops will explore Black history, grassroots organizing, economic/political literacy, the prison industrial complex and more. Currently, teachers from all walks of life are being recruited for the program. Reddick asserts, "We are looking for experts who have been certified by the academy or life." To introduce the community to Blackstar, free trial membership is available. Registration is hassle-free and only takes minutes to complete. Later this year, membership will cost $5.95 per month and a portion of the proceeds will fund global water, anti-poverty and youth outreach projects. For more information or to receive a free trial membership, visit http://www.blackstarvillage.com/media.
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