In addition to connecting millions of social media users each day, Twitter is bringing people around the world together for real-life conversations through #Tweetups, its first-ever global experiential activation series. The purpose of the live curated events is to connect people across the globe to talk about topics that matter to them in real-time through video interactions powered by Shared_Studios. The activations are taking place in 40 global cities—from Berlin to Brooklyn, Doha to Detroit, Lagos to London, LA to Tokyo—now until Aug. 4.
On Thursday, the social media giant held a Tweetup in Harlem, where a group of black Americans met, talked, and ate with a group of men and women in Lagos, Nigeria. The theme of the discussion centered on blackness and moving online activism into tangible action.
“It was very interactive,” said Jamira Burley, a social impact consultant and human rights activist based in New York, after the event. Burley says hearing stories from those in Lagos made her realized how much she shares their values and aspirations. “We’re all trying to not only take care of ourselves but also create a world which enables our families [and] future generations to be able to thrive and grow.”
Burley added that she loved the Senegalese lunch that was served, which included Jollof and fried rice, pepper soup, salad, grilled chicken, and fish. “I need to step my game up and eat more African food because it was so good, so tasteful,” she said. “It reminded me [of] how important it is for folks to come together around food and have honest and real conversations.”
God-is Rivera, the global director of Culture and Community at Twitter and curator of the local Harlem Tweetup, said the goal of the event was to personify the best part of Twitter: bringing people from all walks of life together.
“In the spirit of fostering meaningful, healthy conversations across distance and difference, we partnered with Shared Studios to evolve Tweetups into an activation people around the globe can participate in,” she told BLACK ENTERPRISE in a statement. “By creating these immersive spaces, we hope to strengthen global dialogue both on and off Twitter and to continue to pass the mic to people who we otherwise might never encounter.”
She added, “There’s something incredibly powerful about connecting with people over shared meals, shared interests, shared experiences and discussing what’s happening in their lives and their worlds.”