Methods to media justice at the Allied Media Conference

by Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Feministing

So I am finally getting a chance to sit down and reflect on the last few days. I just got back from Detroit (late last night, into work first thing this morning!) where I attended the Allied Media Conference. Inspiring would be an understatement and I am only sad for all the great panels I ended up missing. AMC is one of those conferences where you can't pick which workshop to go to, so you try and go to more than one at each time slot.

Since I was there with and for youth and racial justice media organizers, I unfortunately missed most of the INCITE led woman of color against violence track, for which I am most sad. I know there were several amazing women of color blogger there leading the workshops and panels (some of whom I met via a last minute ride to the airport--HI FABI, ALEXIS and SERENA) and I wanted to highlight their amazing panels that I was very depressed to miss. I luckily did catch the very end of NO! The Documentary which produced and directed by Aishah Shahidah Simmons and looked at "the international reality of rape, other forms of sexual assault and healing through the first person testimonies, scholarship, spirituality, activism, and cultural work of African-Americans." Excellent.

Finally, the workshop I was part of dealt with the movement technology collaborative which is in the baby stages of collaboration, but the integration of 3 amazing websites (youthmediacouncil.org, future5000.com and mybloc.net). They are called movement technology because they hope to be guided by on the ground organizing (as opposed to organizers chasing technology). This is technology for activists, change makers, students, idealists, non-profit workers, so they can network, collaborate, and find ways to work together nationally. These technologies hope to aid in what (certain) progressive blogs have hoped to do from day one, support and connect on the ground organizing efforts.

Granted that blogs are a tremendous tool for organizers and activists, how many community organizers do you know that read blogs regularly and have the time to comment and interact? Does what we do online connect to the work that we do offline and if so, how?

AMC successfully mapped out what is going on with grassroots activism and media justice, from films to live hip-hop performances and highlighting independent media production to ways we can intervene in mainstream media. I strongly recommend folks that are interested in media justice hit this shit up next year. Finally, through film, performance, poetry, writing (online and off) it is clear media comes in a variety of powerful forms and media justice is not just one path, but a variety and can be taken up in a multitude of ways.

article originally published at http://feministing.com/archives/007260.html.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey