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October 6, 2008

youth engaged from coast to coast

(on the way to Baltimore) I spent the weekend in Seattle learning about youth media projects there. I flew back home (near Boston), and am now heading down to Baltimore for two purposes: to meet the Case Foundation's grantees in their Make it Your Own competition (which we are evaluating) and to participate in a CIRCLE focus group of young Baltimore adults who have never attended college. The latter is part of a much more ambitious project to talk to young working class adults across America. If you ask them whether they engage in traditional forms of politics, such as voting, most say "no"--but we are looking for alternative forms of politics and social activism that do engage them.

Meanwhile, here's a souvenir from Seattle. The young woman who speaks at the beginning of this excellent video was one of the high school students I met over the weekend. She is involved with Reel Grrls, a Seattle organization that teaches teenagers to make social and political media. At the same time that this video attacks the consolidation of corporate media, it also embodies an alternative.

We need to think about how programs like Reel Grrls can become much larger and more common. (Today they are tiny boutique programs for self-selected leaders in progressive communities.) Youth media production could be incorporated more widely into school curricula, or funded as part the national and community service programs, or supported by universities, public broadcasting stations, or municipal governments.

October 6, 2008 7:13 AM | category: none


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