I am the Program Director at Media Literacy Project. The programs I oversee include Girl Tech and media literacy classes taught at Albuquerque Academy and Media Arts Collaborative Charter school, also in Albuquerque. I am also involved in creating customized curricula, facilitating media literacy trainings throughout New Mexico, coordinating MLP’s volunteers and interns, and assisting in the daily operations of the organization.
2) Tell me about your latest work or project in media literacy.
We are in year three of Girl Tech, a program for young women of color who learn about media justice, reproductive justice, and video production. We conduct workshops on communication rights and media access and connect this to reproductive justice. Reproductive justice is defined the compete health and wellbeing of women and girls and will be achieved when women and girls have complete control over their bodies, health, and all areas of their lives. The Girl Tech participants have created videos and told stories about young parents, traditional healing, pregnancy and birth, comprehensive sex education, treatment for substance abuse, and youth access to health services. They tell stories that impact their own lives and families in New Mexico and learn how to be filmmakers in the process. We talk about the stories in mainstream media and deconstruct them, then discuss the stories they have to tell and the messages they want to send. This year-long program ends in the fall with a screening party where we show all the work and the participants have the opportunity talk about their work and what they discovered in the process of being a first-time filmmaker.
3) Why is media literacy important to you?
We define media literacy as the ability to access, analyze, and create media. It is important for everyone to be able to access media and have the ability to communicate with their family, friends, and the world around them. We believe that communication is a human right. Analyzing media messages is also very important to me. It is important that we all think critically about the messages we are receiving. Many of us, myself included, have experiences of receiving a lot of messages at a young age or even as an adult and the damage those messages can do when we don’t fully understand them and the untold stories behind them. Creating media is also something that I love to do personally and creating our own media is a powerful way to respond to media messages that don’t represent communities in a truthful way. Creating media is a way to tell our own stories and connect to those around us.
4) What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?
I am most excited when media literacy goes beyond reacting to and deconstructing the messages around us to connecting the messages we see to media policies and media tools that allow communities to participate and transform media as we know it and make their voices stronger. I love the programs and organizations across the county that teach media making and give access to media tools, such as Internet, videomaking, web development, blogging, and more, especially to communities whose voices are often left out. Media literacy education shouldn’t leave people feeling hopeless or cynical, but rather provide a path for them to share their ideas and experiences.
5) Why did you become a NAMLE member – what benefits do you see to membership and how will it support your work?
Media Literacy Project became a NAMLE member because it is important for us to connect to the field of media literacy on a national level. Membership is a way to learn from one another’s organizations, writings, and more to make our work stronger and media literacy education more available through the country.
Category: M-Passioned Members