ETV Civil Rights and Social Justice Youth Media Summit

ETV Civil Rights and Social Justice Youth Media Summit

South Carolina ETV, the statewide public television network, has a strong record of community service that includes civil rights programming, youth media literacy projects and technology training for teachers. In a state with dropout numbers consistently among the worst in the country, ETV is committed to identifying and implementing solutions to address the high school dropout crisis. Since early 2012 we have taken part in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) sponsored public media initiative, American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen. Now, in collaboration with Write/Right to Change of Clemson University’s Strom Thurmond Institute, we have developed a new project, the ETV Civil Rights and Social Justice Youth Media Summit. Focusing on digital and social media as a strategy for student engagement, the Summit will teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills to a group of high school and college students while helping them to understand their place in history.

It has been more than 50 years since the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and ‘60s began, and the leaders of that movement will not be with us forever. The Civil Rights and Social Justice Youth Media Summit, scheduled to convene on March 1 – 3, 2013 at the ETV Telecommunications Center in Columbia, will address the urgent need to gather the oral histories of civil rights activists and share them with young people. We will invite veterans of the movement to give interviews, participate in a screening and discussion of a civil rights documentary and work with a select group of high school students assisted by mass communications students from Benedict College. These students will have the opportunity to record first-person accounts of the civil rights effort from those who were there and to work with these individuals on strategies for documenting the civil rights stories that can be discovered in their own communities. The National Black Programming Consortium is sending their Public Media Corps to Columbia to document the project and assist with editing the student work. The students will reconvene at ETV in April to screen their new work with parents, TV professionals and community partners.

After the Youth Media Summit, students with guidance from ETV, Benedict College mentors and school advisors will use camcorders to capture more stories in their own communities.  ETV will host student teams to present their work in April at an evening screening event in Columbia.

Visit Storify to learn more!

The interviews will be shared online on the ETV American Graduate website and on the ETV American Graduate page on Facebook. Videos produced during the weekend that will combine history with drop-out issues will be entered into the American Graduate Flash Film Festival.

Funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Black Programming Consortium, the Lipscomb Family Foundation, Write/Right to Change.

Photo courtesy Cecil Williams


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