Crowdsourcing and activism pair beautifully. There is power and numbers, and when it comes to activism, there is a lot of work that goes into researching, organizing, and mobilizing.
I searched the web for crowdsourcing project that had to do with activism. In my search I came across different types of crowdsourcing projects. What's on the menu? was established in 2011, and works through the New York Public Library. They are transcribing historical restaurant menus, dish by dish, so that they can be searched by what people were eating back in the day. Movements focuses on crowdsourcing human rights, and opening closed societies. The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank welcomes contributions from survivors, first responders, relief workers, family, friends, and anyone with reflections on the hurricanes and their aftermath. Their project focuses on hurricane Katrina and Rita.
The project I decided to contribute to was DIY History. "The goal of DIY History is to make historic artifacts more accessible – both by enhancing catalog records for greater ease in searching and browsing, and by engaging the public to interact with the materials in new ways." I transcribed a newspaper clipping from 1966 about Dr. Philip G. Hubbard. I found this article using the "Transcribe by Topic" tab and selecting "Social Justice." The transcribing work that is done for this project is in order to make older documents searchable and easier for research. I am not sure that this data would have been lost if I did not transcribe it, because there are digital images uploaded online, but my work did make the document searchable, which was not possible before. This felt like activism because of the topic I was transcribing, but it did not really feel like activism because I was simply typing words that were on a page.
DIY History claims that 74,431 pages have been transcribed! Many hands really do make light work!