November 2018: M-Passioned Member Tony Weaver

What do you do?
I’m the founder of Weird Enough Productions, where we use comics and superheroes to teach middle and high school students how to have a healthy relationship with media.

Tell me about your latest work or project in media literacy.
Most recently, I launched an online comic called The Uncommons. With my writing, and the amazing work of our illustrator, we’re redefining what it means to be a hero, and rallying audiences behind messages of self love and agency. With the Uncommons, the intention was to create a story that was engaging and entertaining, but would also encourage audience members to think critically.

Why is media literacy important to you?
Media literacy is important to me because it lays a framework for critical analysis that applies to every organized institution in society. The principles of media literacy not only enable students to engage with media in a healthy way, it empowers them to use media as a tool for positive social change. Teaching students how to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media content is like giving them the keys to success.

What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?
When it comes to the media literacy field, I’m most excited about the students. Young people today are amazingly talented, infinitely insightful, and artistic. We can already see on social media sites like tumblr and Instagram, that young people’s potential for media creation is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. By adding media literacy to that equation, we can create an entire generation that fundamentally shifts the media landscape. That makes me very excited.

Why did you become a NAMLE member, what benefits do you see to membership, and how will it support your work?
The media literacy community is small. Connecting with NAMLE allowed me to engage with other scholars focused on the same work. Which I feel will significantly multiply our collective impact.

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