Created: September 2017. Last Updated: July 2018.
To view this learning experience in over 35 available languages, please see "All Languages" below.
Depending on the time you have allotted for each group meeting, we suggest you engage in the portion of the “Assignment” that requires participants to develop their own media content or an idea for this content in your second group convening.
|Group or individual activity:||Group|
|Ages:||11-18 years old|
|Online / offline elements:||This learning experience contains links to online resources to help facilitate a group-based discussion, and an offline writing assignment.|
Main area: Civic and Political Engagement
Additional areas: Content Production, Digital (Literacy), Information Literacy, Media (Literacy), Positive / Respectful Behavior
|License:||Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. For more information, please visit: http://dcrp.berkman.harvard.edu/about|
Participants will learn about and identify ways in which various types of media can be used to promote awareness around an issue.
[For educator] Computer with Internet access
Projector and projection screen
[For participants] Computers or mobile devices with Internet access
Article: Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media, Re-Thinking Youth Participation and Civic Engagement in the Digital Age - by Andres Lombana-Bermudez
Video: HitRECord: Shifting the Agenda - by HitRecord, Pivot, and Youth Participatory Politics
Video: Amandla Stenberg: Don’t Cash Crop on My Cornrows - by Hype Hair Magazine
Video: Rallying Support 1: Press & Social Media with Maureen Johnson - by The Harry Potter Alliance
- Video: The Storytellers High School Campaign - by To Write Love on Her Arms
Activity #1: Using Media for Change
Media is an awesome tool for sharing ideas with others. For many, digital media platforms are their favorite way to communicate their messages. For instance, HolaSoyGerman uses YouTube to share funny stories with people around the world and Malala Yousafzai uses Twitter to stand up for the rights of women and young people.
Sometimes, young advocates use digital media to target specific problems. For example, Amandla Stenberg is a young actress and activist who released a video in 2015 about black culture and cultural appropriation for her history class. By releasing the video, she acted as an advocate and raised awareness about an issue she is passionate about. Other people prefer to use analog, non-digital media platforms like TV, radio, or newspapers to tell an audience about their ideas.
[On a projection screen, show a recent video example aligned with your / participants’ local / regional context to further illustrate how media can be used to foster awareness and advocacy around a particular cause.]
As advocates for change, media of all sorts can be powerful tools for achieving our goals. In the following activity, you will explore this idea by creating a message and spreading it across various types of media to reach a large audience.
Find an example of media (e.g., a YouTube video, a social media post or account, a photo, a visual meme) that is inspiring and might be a good way to help spread a message about a cause that you care about. You will have 15 minutes to find this content. Afterwards, each participant will show the group what they found and why they think it’s inspiring.
[Give participants 15 minutes to find an example of media that they believe effectively spreads a message about a cause. Afterwards, take 15 minutes and ask each participant to briefly describe and / or show the media to the group, and discuss why they think it’s inspiring.]
[The second portion of this assignment may be completed during the current or second group convening, depending on the time allotted.]
Now that we’ve found and discussed an inspiring and effective example of media to promote a cause, it’s time for you to create your own media content around an issue you care about. Over the next 20 minutes, think of a cause that is important to you and write down your idea for a specific type of media to raise awareness around the issue. This might include:
A text-based post to communicate your cause and why people should take action.
An idea for an image or graphic (or an image / graphic itself) to communicate the cause and how others can help support it.
An idea for a video to raise awareness and encourage action around the cause.
In addition to this idea, please also write down:
At least two possible ways you might spread your media message to increase visibility and awareness of the cause.
[Give participants 20 minutes to write down their ideas. Afterwards, ask participants to share what they wrote with the larger group. Allow 15 minutes for discussion.]