Take Action > Media Awareness Pt. I
“It Starts With Me” is a free youth dialogues event focused on combatting discrimination through active witnessing happening from 10am – 5pm on Saturday July 14th at the Vancouver Central Public Library.
There will be workshops in the morning, which will foster discussion about hate crimes, fear and causes of discrimination through art, theatre and brainstorming. Lunch will be provided, and after lunch a guest speaker, Romi Chandra, a community activist, will also be addressing the group. This will be followed by several dialogue sessions, and the day will finish with a flash mob.
The Minister of State for Multiculturalism, John Yap, will also be dropping by to share some of his experience with multiculturalism and combatting discrimination as well.
For more information, please check out our links:
Website – http://itstartswithmepromot.wix.com/itstartswithme#!home/mainPage
Facebook Event – http://www.facebook.com/events/378500512199931/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Itstartswithme_
Registration – http://tinyurl.com/d8g5vra
- We want to spread awareness about discrimination and the fact that it is still a problem, and how to not just be a bystander, but an active witness.
- We want to create an environment where people feel willing to share their experiences about discrimination.
- We want to provide youth with a way to find out more about ways to combat discrimination.
Boycott a product or brand by refusing to purchase or use/wear it.
Boycotting products is a simple way to actively resist consuming products that are produced with sweatshop labour. Resistance is always stronger in numbers: educate your friends/classmates about sweatshops and boycott a product or brand together. Make noise about your action by blogging about it, sharing it on Facebook or telling a local newspaper!
Check out these Successful Boycotts
The podcast that I will be recording will be a series of stories told by delegates from the 2013 Leading the Way Youth Summit on Sustainable Transportation (http://leadingthewayyouthsummit.com/), drawn from across Western Canada about key moments in their lives or insights that have prompted their interest in sustainable urban transportation. The spirit of this project lies in the belief that sustainability will only come about when it is meaningfully connected to the threads of community, diversity, or respect for place that speak to us as individuals.
The podcast seeks to lay important groundwork for advocating at a national level for supporting the life of our communities through making active transportation safe, inclusive, respectful and delightful. It aims to draw similarities between the ways active modes enhance and involve us in the life of our local towns, neighbourhoods and places of importance, while allowing for learning about regional differences. Through the stories of the delegates, the podcast will illustrate the diverse range of goals that active transportation can contribute to — including objectives related to climate and environmental protection, local economic development, community engagement and social equity. In capturing both a specific moment in time — the delegates coming together at the Youth Summit — the podcast will also touch upon the larger conversation happening across Canada about the sustainability of the future of our cities and communities. The podcast can be used to identify areas of common concern and resources for youth to have a part in making a national transportation strategy a policy reality.
- To advocate for safe, inclusive, respectful, and delightful active transportation.
- To share the diverse range of goals that active transportation can contribute to.
- To contribute to the ongoing national dialogue on active transportation issues.
Create a short film to post on Youtube/Vimeo to raise public awareness about globalization and its impact.
Globalization and the Internet have revolutionized the power and reach of media. Content that is produced all over the world is available for us to view with the click of a button. Not only does this help us spread ideas, but also exchange them.
A great way to raise awareness about an issue or spread an idea is through producing media that can be shared online. Be creative and make a video that defines what globalization is or outlines the impacts of globalization. This is a great action to do with a class, or a group of friends! Post your video online and use other social networking sites to promote it (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.). See how many views you get!
Refuse to buy video games, magazines, movies, or other media or products that portray people in degrading ways.
There are many products and media that portray people, often especially women, in degrading ways. Consuming these products can send the unintentional message that we are O.K. with these representations. It is important to be critical and vigilant since these messages can be subtle.
If you see an advertisement, product, or campaign that is sexist, talk about it with your friends, challenge others to think critically and share your concerns. If the message is sexist, don’t buy the product.
This project would be a local zine created by youth called “Breaking Boundaries: Defining Community and Place.” It will call for submissions under this title and select pieces that discuss or showcase topics or stories such as: community building strategies, narratives on how people found community, how they came to community, the geography of their community, movement between communities, photos essays defining places. There is also potential to host a launch party if contributors would be interested in showcasing their work.
In my own personal experiences it was through alternative media (a small magazine from the USA called New Moon) that I was introduced to critical thinking around women in the media at the age of eleven. Alternative media like zines allows people to take about the defining of their own gender experiences and in creating and defining community, people’s experiences and understanding of gender is often a large part of how we build or experience community. I also feel our experiences of place are directly impacted by how we travel “between” places, encouraging submissions that ask people to explore places and boundaries begins a discussion about movement and how transporting people between places and how we experience this time in between places.
- To showcase young people's ideas on community and place
- To introduce readers to critical thinking and ideas about community
Invite people to watch a documentary on the impact of media.
There are several documentaries out that address the impact of media. Many of them discuss issues about gender representations, consumerism, and social stratification.
Choose a documentary to screen at school or host a screening for your friends and family at home. Create discussion questions for the group to answer after watching the film.
- Choose a documentary film;
- Choose a date, time, and location;
- Spread the word through social networks;
- Prepare for the screening: make some snacks or suggest that others bring a dish, watch the film beforehand, develop discussion questions for a conversation after the film;
- Watch the movie;
- Discuss your questions.
- Action Reports
- → Kate screened the movie Black Gold with friends
The Bechdel Test (http://bechdeltest.com/) is a very simple set of criteria that can be applied to every single movie to test for the presence of women characters. To pass the test, a movie has to: (1) have at least two women in it, (2) who talk to each other, and (3) about something besides a man. Even though these look like the simplest criteria ever, it is amazing how many movies fail the test. Even if movies pass the test, that doesn’t make them good or feminist, it simply means that they include at least one scene where women characters talk to each other about something other than a man!
This is an easy action to take with friends and gives everyone a handy conversation starter after a movie night!
- To get people talking about media and representations of women.
- To see how many movies pass the bare minimum standards for women characters.
- To watch movies critically.
Create your own media – a blog, a Zine, a video – to share your perspectives and opinions.
Although media often produces negative messages that tell us how to view ourselves and the world, we can take back control of the media by producing our own!
If you have something to say, or an idea to share, multi-media outlets have made it very easy for us to produce our own media and the Internet has made is easy to distribute. Create a video, Zine, Blog, or song and share it with your online social networks.
I plan to rewrite the story Cinderella in comic book form so that the genders are swapped. When a man is in the role of Cinderella, the story will seem strange, and it will become apparent that values like physical beauty and humility are the only values that are placed on female characters.
The stories we tell children influence their perceptions of themselves, shape their values and create their moral and sociological framework. The gender roles and values in most ancient and many contemporary stories published for children are limiting and disempowering.
The zine will have a critical structure, and address issues in the story. By reading this zine, both parents and kids will think critically about the portrayal of women in the stories they read.
- To challenge gender stereotypes
- To give people a creative tool to use to think critically about the portrayal of women in the media