When I chose Film & Media studies as my major at Lafayette College, it was because I recognized the power of influential media and the effects it has on people’s values and perceptions. I knew I wanted to be a part of expanding pre-conceived notions, as well as encouraging people to think about who benefits from certain narratives; to play an active, rather than passive role in shaping the conversation.
As a result of my education at Lafayette, I knew our society deserved media literacy in K-12 education. I believe this knowledge is instrumental to empowering those who might be limiting themselves and their peers due to the way they think about one another in relation to the global community.
I’m proud to say that an essential part of my weekly tasks now, as an Education Programming and Media Strategy Fellow at Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, is to assist with creating a new digital literacy program, ThinkAlong. ThinkAlong helps middle school students think critically about media messages and develop informed opinions that they can then test in debate with students from other school districts. Don’t worry; a high school version is also in the works!
Being a Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow at CPBN has been pivotal for my role in trying to promote compassion and equity, because I’ve had the opportunity to meet true leaders and witness leadership in its many forms. I’ve been a part of many of the intricacies surrounding running a successful nonprofit – including branding/re-branding, staying true to mission, corporate governance, maintaining daily programs and projects while taking on new ones, and trying to bridge divides in the surrounding community, to name a few.
I’ve seen qualities I want to emulate, not only through the leadership team at CPBN, but through each of the Newman’s Own Foundation Fellows too.
Because of the people who are impassioned about creating opportunities for others, those who can look forward and reach back at the same time – the Debbie Beal’s, Paul Newman’s, Jonathan Fanton’s, nonprofit leaders, those with one or some bones to pick with the systems of dominance in place and do not stop trying despite the challenges that life can bear – I will fight with you, and I will remain optimistic. We can do this. We should do this. We might actually have to do this.
The featured photo above is of me at the Women’s March in Stamford, CT.