Produce ! Create ! Innovate ! is up and running at the following five universities.
Georgia State University
Jackson State University
In 2009 Washington Koen Media created the Beyond The Bricks Project - a film and solutions-based community engagement project. Over the next 3 years, Beyond the Bricks Project screened its film, Beyond the Bricks (2009), in over 60 cities, reaching several thousand people. Many of the screenings have included town hall meetings that focused on solutions-based conversations. During these conversations it became clear that the black boys in these communities needed to see themselves as something other than what the media and popular culture has made them out to be. While the dominant media focus tends to be on the negative aspects of the story, we all know that there are many sides to any story and that “...is the issue.”
In response to the town hall conversations, BTBP created the Produce! Create! Innovate! Community Producers Program. This program, in partnership with university campuses and community organizations, is a 4 month out-of-school media literacy and media production course that is designed for young Black males (ages 16-19) to investigate and interrogate how they are represented and what they can do about it. The program works closely with local university partners and mentoring organizations to implement a media and community advocacy curriculum that will directly engage Black male youth. This out-of-school program runs out of university campuses around the country. The overarching questions addressed in the program are the following:
How are Black men and boys represented through media? Who and/or what creates and disseminates media messages? What stories do I want to tell through multimedia production? How will I tell these stories through multimedia production? What is the impact of these stories on my community and the larger society?
The goal of this course is not to perpetuate the “isms” (e.g. racism, classism, sexism) but rather transcend them with critical interrogation and meaningful self-reflection through media analysis and production.
This is a video created by Keion, 2012 BTBP Community Producer, IUME-Columbia University. It was shown at the PCI program graduation which was held in the Milbank Chapel at Teachers College, Harlem.
Upon completing the program, one young man from each location are invited to participate in The Fellow's Institute. During the summer they will spend one week learning from local and national mentors and experts in media, community leadership and engagement, and education and leadership, as they set up community based media campaigns around issues they want to address in their communities. The boys will leave the institute with a media-based community advocacy campaign that they have designed, plans for their continued education and a scholarship from Beyond the Bricks Project.
“Macio, a 19-year-old from Atlanta, sits in front of a computer wearing a red Nike hat and large headphones. His attire, accent and relaxed mannerisms fit that of a stereotypical young Black kid from the south, a stereotype which describes second-class citizenry at the intersection of youth, Blackness, and urban life. From this conventional standpoint, Macio (and young Black men like him) is troubled and most certainly doomed for failure. But an hour-long conversation with Macio proves otherwise. He schools me on his intentions on changing the established view of males like him in the US. “They think young Black men are dangerous, you know, criminals,” he tells me via a Skype interview. “But we’re here to change that.” Jeffrey, an 18-year-old from Jackson, Mississippi, chimes in via telephone conference, “We’re not all bad... (from BEYOND STEREOTYPES: Media Literacy Program Helps Black Males Challenge the Media by Tara Conely, Media Make Change)