Digital Activism as a Tool in Fostering Collective Resilience and Empowerment amid COVID-19

Kabeel Mohyudin Dosani, Fordham University


This qualitative study examined emerging adults’ engagement in digital activism during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States. Building on extant literature, this study explored the opportunities for fostering collective resilience and healing among individuals through engagement in online activism. The purposive sample consisted of 14 individuals residing in the United States between the ages of 20 and 29 (M = 25.00, SD = 2.65). Participants represented a culturally diverse population and were engaged in varying community-based, political, and nonprofit organizations. Participants each completed a brief demographic questionnaire and three supplemental quantitative measures, including the Impact of Event Scale–Revised (IES-R; Weiss & Marmar, 1997), the Online Social Activism Scale (OSAS; Yankah et al., 2017), and the Fletcher-Lyons Collective Resilience Scale (FLCRS; Lyons et al., 2016). Participants also completed semi-structured, audio-recorded phone interviews with the researcher, ranging in length from 62 to 117 minutes (M = 75.18, SD = 21.18). The interviews were transcribed, verified, and analyzed through identifying emerging themes, consistent with phenomenological methods. Data analysis resulted in six major themes that highlighted participants’ internal and external experiences of the pandemic, their development as activists, efforts towards adapting advocacy to the pandemic context, challenges and limitations in utilizing digital activism tools, experiences of empowerment through digital storytelling, and opportunities to foster collective resilience and healing through digital activism. Findings also demonstrated 17 minor themes that further contextualized the major themes. Clinical practice, training, and policy implications, limitations, and areas for further research are discussed.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology|Mental health|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Dosani, Kabeel Mohyudin, "Digital Activism as a Tool in Fostering Collective Resilience and Empowerment amid COVID-19" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29258059.