“The information I learned in the Media Action Project was so valuable to me. It really helped me process my own thoughts on the subject rather than just agreeing with the media and everyone else.” --Sandra Villegas, age 17, Gateway to College Student
The Media Action Project (MAP) is a four-session outreach program that teaches youth how to critically deconstruct print ads, movies, television commercials, video games and websites in order to examine underlying messages about gender, violence, body image, consumerism, etc, and to consider how these messages might affect their own sense of self and physical health.
After viewing a film on media literacy, students then learn to create their own media in the form of a personal zine–an artful and fun genre with a long tradition of challenging the major media’s authority. Along with enhancing self-esteem and encouraging positive health choices, one of our major goals is to help transform young people from passive consumers of media into more active and engaged creators of media, art, and culture.
Funding from Kickstarter will help us bring MAP to more than 1000 teens between now and April 2012. It will also help us purchase materials and pay for printing costs for thousands of student zines.
The Staff and Board at the Independent Publishing Resource Center have been seriously troubled by the recent nationwide spate of tragic bullying incidents and subsequent suicides, often involving social media, and mostly directed at teens who don't fit within conventional gender/sexual orientation norms.
This upsetting pattern reminds us of the dire importance of the Media Action Project. MAP helps young people form more realistic, compassionate ideas about media-fueled issues like body image, masculinity/aggression, and consumerism. Moreover, MAP empowers youth to share these new ideas by creating their own zines. Given today’s volatile cultural climate and the barrage of media directed at youth, it’s a program with the potential to not only change lives, but also to save them.
The IPRC implements MAP at a number of treatment centers, libraries, and youth center, but we focus mainly on public middle schools and high schools. Unfortunately, as statewide education budgets dwindle, fewer and fewer classrooms can afford to host a MAP residency. This is where we need your help--please contribute to the Media Action Project on Kickstarter and help us empower over 1000 teens to create their own zines.
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