Inaugural Conference to "Pump Up the Volume" on Teen Media Literacy

Monday, May 16, 2016

Media literacy advocacy group I AM not the MEdia is partnering with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s College of Health and Human Services and Shaping the Message Research Initiative to host the first inaugural Teen Media Literacy Conference in Charlotte, NC. 

The theme for the 2016 TML Conference is "Pump Up The Volume on Media Literacy" and is for teens between the ages 13 and 17. The Teen Media Literacy Conference will help teens gain knowledge and skills needed to lead media literacy advocacy efforts in their schools and communities to address the media’s influence on healthy relationships, body image, stereotypes and social media health. Participants will work with UNC Charlotte students, faculty, and local experts to create awareness projects that will be showcased at community events throughout the year.

Teens will spend the weekend on UNC Charlotte’s campus in an immersive experience from Friday, July 29 to Sunday, July 31 2016.

On the first day, teens will learn about three issues that disproportionately impact the African American youth: body image and cultural misrepresentation, risks associated with social media, and domestic violence. Teens will then commit to a specific advocacy project topic.

On day two, small groups will work with photographers and college student mentors on a photo campaign that will be exhibited in the community.

On the closing day, students will learn about advocacy opportunities by being introduced to organizations addressing key social issues that affect African American youth in Charlotte. Teens will also learn how they can start media literacy clubs in their schools. The conference will conclude with a reception and a parent session on reinforcing media literacy skills at home.

A community-wide exhibit of the conference projects is planned for October 2016. Financial supporters of the conference include the Jamie Kimble Foundation and the UNC Charlotte’s Chancellors Diversity Grant. In addition, there are still many opportunities for donors, organizations and businesses to sponsor teens to attend the conference through scholarships.

Registration is now open, and the cost is $80 for the entire weekend.

The project leads for the Teen Media Literacy Conference are Jimmeka Anderson, Executive Director of I AM not the MEdia, and Dr. Shanti Kulkarni, UNC Charlotte social work professor who is co-leading the Shaping the Message project. Anderson has served as a media literacy educator in Charlotte for 7 years, is a member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education and the NC Chapter Lead for the National Media Literacy Now organization.

Last year Kulkarni received an National Institutes of Health grant for Shaping the Message, a community based participatory research project to support the creation dating violence prevention initiatives with African American teens. She is also the developer of Love Speaks Out, a model teen dating violence awareness program in Charlotte, NC.

Conference Social Media

Hashtags#tmlconf2016 and #pumpupthevolume