2015 Hart House Hancock Lecture

The Myth of Slacktivism

Hashtags, Selfies and Ice-Buckets:

The Myth of Slacktivism

Jennifer Hollet presented the 2015 Hancock Lecture that asked the following questions: Has traditional activism taken a back seat to trending topics, Facebook shares, online petitions and viral videos? How has social media changed the way in which we understand activism? How does digital activism complement or empower traditional forms of activism such as protests, acts of civil disobedience and other interruptions geared at changing public policy and socio-political issues?

Jennifer shared her own personal evolution as an activist and challenged the notion of “slacktivism” believing that all forms of public involvement and discussion are valid steps on the ladder of engagement.

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JENNIFER HOLLETTAbout Jennifer Hollett

Jennifer loves and lives digital. As an award-winning broadcast journalist, Jenn uses social media to increase participation and mobilization in politics and social issues. As a television host and reporter, Jenn has worked for the CBC, CTV, and is a former MuchMusic VJ. In 2002, she travelled to Kabul to host A MuchMusic Special: Afghanistan, a Gemini-nominated documentary. A leading digital expert and visionary, Jenn developed the critically acclaimed ‘Super PAC App’ at the MIT Media Lab, which helped make television campaign ads more transparent to viewers during the 2012 U.S. election.

Human rights and social justice have been a consistent focus in Jenn’s work. She previously managed e-communications for Plan Canada, worked with Journalists for Human Rights to train journalists in Sierra Leone, and volunteered to create YouthCARE, a youth engagement program with CARE Canada. She is a strong advocate for women’s and girls’ rights, and has been proud to moderate the G(irls)20 Summit in Toronto (2010), Paris (2011), Mexico City (2012), and Moscow (2013).

Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Journalism and Communications from Concordia University in Montreal, and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University. As a candidate in the NDP nomination race for the 2013 by-election in Toronto Centre, Jenn believes politics is what we make it. She currently consults on a variety of digital projects.​