Irene Villaseñor is POV’s Youth Views Manager. Youth Views is a project that works with youth, educators and youth-serving organizations to use POV films as a tool for youth engagement. Irene will be presenting on two workshops at the 2008 NYC Grassroots Media Conference next week. She writes in to tell us a little bit more about the work being done at the conference, and about the two workshops she is participating in.

NYC Grassroots Media CoalitionI am excited to announce that after attending this impressive event since its inception, this Sunday POV will (finally) co-present not just one but two workshops at the Fifth Annual NYC Grassroots Media (NYCGM) Conference. This conference has been successfully connecting community and media organizations in NYC to explore the political dimensions of media and how it shapes our lives. The theme of this year’s conference is Speaking Truth to Power: Media Justice In Our Communities.

From 10:30 am-12:00 pm, we’ll be at Curation as Lens of Activism: Interactive Tools & Media Approaches. We are partnering with Listen Up!, a network that connects young video producers to resources that will achieve an authentic youth voice in the mass media and with the Urban Visionaries Film Festival, New York City’s only film festival produced, promoted and presented by youth. We will be sharing tips on mentoring community producers, how to determine your values for selecting media, how to produce community events that reflect those values and insights on working on international, intercultural and intergenerational production teams.

And at the end of the day from 4:30 pm-6:00 pm, we’re co-facilitating an Educators Strategy Session: Connections Between Media Justice and Visual Literacy with our friends from the Education department at the Brooklyn Museum. This workshop will bring together media justice activists and visual arts educators — two distinct groups of educators that share a passion for training young people to think critically about the visual culture they consume and create. At this session, we will discuss and strategize on how and what these two (seemingly) different types of teachers can learn from each other.

I’m also looking forward to checking out other presentations throughout the day — there are more than 40 workshops organized by all sorts of groups including Arts Engine, Common Cause, the Hip-Hop Association, the The Lower Eastside Girls Club, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and the North Star Fund, to name a few (see the full schedule of workshops for more information). The conference also includes a full lineup of film screenings by independent media makers (pdf). If it’s anything like the past events I’ve been to, it should be an incredibly inspiring event. We hope to see you there!

For more information:
The Fifth Annual NYC Grassroots Media Conference
9am-6pm, Sunday, March 2nd 2008
Hunter College, 68th Street and Lexington Ave – West Building
Co-Sponsored by the Film and Media Studies Department at Hunter College/CUNY
Register online or email info[at] for more information.

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