Recap of Dec 8 Gathering for Media Justice
St. Paul, MN – A huge thank you to all who participated in our recent “Gathering for Media Justice.” We had 70 people participate throughout the day.
Lissa Jones, host of the Urban Agenda talk show on KMOJ, provided a powerful keynote to start out the day. She was able to lift up the power media has had historically in perpetuating racism and how it continues to this day. She encouraged us to keep fighting and doing what we can in creating our own alternative media. Lissa ends with the advice to “maintain resistance” and she leads by example by speaking her own truth and encourages us to do the same. You can listen to a recording of her keynote address on KFAI’s website.
After the keynote and Q&A session with Lissa, participants had time to get to know each other. An icebreaker got us moving and tested how “in sync” we could be and one-on-one check-ins on what brought people to the event and what was one thing they took from the keynote allowed for individual connections to be made. We then moved into our first small group discussion on how media sources are using racial justice strategies and what community members see as good examples. Here were the questions we discussed:
- What are recent outstanding examples of racial justice coverage in local media outlets? Was there a particular story, writer, radio show or organization that you are really impressed with?
- What could local media organizations do differently to improve coverage of communities of color? What is missing?
- What could you do as a community member to help improve racial justice in local media?
- What is an example of a racial justice strategy that you or your organization uses? Why is this important to you or your organization?
- What are the challenges in covering American Indian and communities of color in your work? What could you do to help improve coverage?
- What could community members and organizations do to help get their stories and issues covered accurately and more robustly?
After lunch we moved into our second small group discussion where we reviewed a draft of “A Pledge for Racial and Cultural Equity in Minnesota Media” and a handout on “Best Practices & Action Steps for Media” You can view the original drafts of both documents on our blog. We would like to acknowledge a number of media entities & social justice organizations that were in the room, including:
- The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
- Twin Cities Daily Planet
- AM950 New Minnesotans
- Free Poet’s Press
- Twin Cities Media Alliance
- The Uptake
- Organizing Apprenticeship Project
- Hmong Village, Inc.
- Hmong Pages
- City College News
- Hmong Broadcasting Company
- Main Street Project
- Pan-Asian Voices for Equity-Minnesota
- Our World Today TV
- Insight News
- Twin Cities Public Television
- Nygaard Notes
To end our day, we saw the whole room stand-up in an action of solidarity to agree to back the Pledge as a living document and we received a number of volunteers to help us refine it. Then Chilli Lor ended our event in song. Her message to the room was to keep working together.
There are many people CAAR would like to thank…
CAAR would like to thank Main Street Project and KFAI for their partnership on this event. We look forward to working together more in the future, along with the many other organizations that are now a part of a growing group committed to media justice.
We would also like to thank the local restaurants for their food donations. Please go and support the following restaurants:
CAAR would also like to thank Headwaters Foundation for Justice and the Asian Pacific Endowment for their recent grants to us. Without their support and belief in our work, it would have been a lot harder to do this Gathering.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers who helped organize this event – Fuabkuab Yang, Marsha Brady, Elizabeth Xoom, Rebecca Beibei Song, Maivncais Her, Jeanne Burns, Danielle Mkali, John Kostishack, Margie Andreason, Mischa Kegan, John Slade, & Sandy’Ci Moua!
Lastly, again thank you to all those that came out to our Gathering and also to those that couldn’t make it but have and continue to support the work of CAAR. Let’s continue the momentum moving forward! To quote the great Grace Lee Boggs, “We are the leaders we are looking for.”
by Margie Andreason
Sunday, December 16, 2012