Sponsor(s): Lalitha Vasudevan
Department: Mathematics, Science and Technology
The Media and Social Change Lab (MASCLab) is a hub for multimodal scholarship and projects that creatively engage media in service of understanding and effecting social change. In addition to community screenings, media production, and research in and about media settings, the Lab has also partnered with community organizations to facilitate after-school workshops with youth. These experiences are designed to increase participation of youth as storytellers and knowledge-makers about their lives for audiences of educators.
The MASCLab Zankel Fellows will be involved with Community Media Story-Mapping projects at two sites. The parameters of each project will be adapted to each site’s specific needs, but will maintain these shared characteristics:
- To work with youth, using media tools and mapping approaches, to call attention to social issues of significance for youth and their communities and re-present them in a way that is accessible for new audiences
- To make these artifacts publically available for use by multiple audiences
- To engage in a “collegial pedagogy” with youth by working on a digital artifact in service of social change (the format of the artifact may vary to accommodate the youths’ and organizations’ needs: i.e., video or film, audio podcast, photographs, digital platform, etc.)
- To work with MASCLab faculty to design a media engagement guide that can be paired with the community mapping projects and shared with educators, afterschool program staff, and others to support their use of media for social change in their pedagogies
One fellow will be placed at the Educational Video Center (EVC), a non-profit youth media organization dedicated to teaching documentary video as a means to develop the artistic, critical literacy, and career skills of young people, while nurturing their idealism and commitment to social change. EVC youth recently launched the transmedia project, Bridging the Gap: Community and Police Justice, that aims to inspire dialogue between youth, community, and the police toward more just policing practices and community safety.
A second fellow will be placed at Choices Alternative to Detention (ATD) Program, which seeks to use a young person’s early involvement in the justice system as an opportunity for interventions that reduce recidivism while promoting positive, sustainable youth development. Through individualized plans that focus on engagement with peers, family, and the community, the program allows youth to avoid detention in a correctional facility, remain with their families, and continue in school. Choices is open to expanding ongoing media literacy workshops to focus on media production and digital mapping, particularly in ways that allow young people to have their voices heard by decision makers who make decisions that affect their lives daily: teachers, social workers, judges, counselors, parents, and community members.
Fellows will meet weekly with MASCLab faculty to share their experiences, receive feedback on their media work, and will have the opportunity to work with and support one another. Fellows will also have the opportunity to periodically visit both sites and find ways for both groups of youth to collaborate.
- Interest in out of school learning, literacies, media, and forms of representation
- Experience teaching or facilitating workshops with youth – experience inside or outside of schools welcome
- Experience with and willingness to experiment with a variety of technologies and media tools, social media platforms, commonly used applications (Google drive, Dropbox, Mac iLife suite)
- Strong communication skills, as this position will require fellows to be engaged in writing, speaking, listening, and creating media for multiple audiences with youth from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds
- Ability and willingness to work collaboratively in a team setting and demonstrate strong interpersonal skills
- Ability to work independently to problem solve and demonstrate strong organizational skills
- Willingness to be flexible and responsive to dynamic teaching and learning circumstances
- Sense of humor
Fellowship site(s): TC’s Media and Social Change Lab (MASCLab), the Educational Video Center, and Choices – Alternative to Detention Program
Estimated time commitment per week: Fellows will spend 5-7 hours per week working directly with students and an additional 3-5 hours per week planning and preparing for on-site work.
Weekly schedule (if known): Fellows will spend 2-3 days/week at their assigned site, working alongside youth as mentors and facilitators of community mapping projects. They will also participate in weekly MASCLab meetings, where they will have a chance to interact with other students using media to explore teaching, research, production, and representation in the context of social change.
Number of fellows in 2018-19: 2