My School-My Community EXPANDS on air Fall 2012 FOR 2012-2013 SCHOOL YEARThanks to a grant from the W.K. in the decision-making processKellogg Foundation, Media Impact and builds the capacity of youthexpanded its nascent My School- to engage peers, administrators,My Community program into a teachers and parents in building atotal of 11 schools for the 2012- positive school community.2013 academic year. The programserves some of New York City’s most Currently, students and teachers invulnerable students, addressing key all partner schools are in the researchbarriers to success, and providing process to identify critical socialstudents with core self-efficacy and issues to be addressed throughoutcitizen engagement tools. In this the academic year. Studentsprogram expansion, Media Impact are partaking in pre-surveys thatwill leverage the student-produced will provide vital information tomaterials to facilitate discussion Media Impact’s evaluation teamand policy change among education in measuring program impacts.stakeholders. Students are in the beginning phases of experimenting with the Students use ‘Comic Life’ to produceLaunched in 2010 in two Urban technology available to them at a digital comic book to support anAssembly Schools (UA School of their schools such as camcorders, episode of their serial drama dealingBusiness for Young Women and flip cameras, iMovie, Windows with the issue of bullying and respectUA Academy of Civic Engagement Movie Maker, and Garageband. My for others.middle school), the My School- School-My Community ProgramMy Community program brings Officers are conducting regularthe proven methodology of mentoring visits to guide teachers inEntertainment-Education (E-E) framing the program.directly into the school environment.This program deepens students’ Participating schools:ability to execute successful behavior • The Urban Assembly Academy of Civicchange, media and community Engagement • The Urban Assembly School for theaction service campaigns, following Performing Artsa curriculum that differentiates for a • The Urban Assembly Academy ofvariety of student learning styles. Government and Law • The Urban Assembly Unison SchoolMy School-My Community allows • The Student Voice Collaborative • Landmark High School Teachers display student producedstudents to take ownership of their video dramas on Smart Boards. • Bronx Community High Schoolschool and address issues such • Eagle Academy Bronx Following the screening, studentsas violence, gossip, bullying and • Brooklyn Excelsior Charter School discuss the social issues addressedteenage pregnancy. The program • Claremont International School in the episode.provides a platform for student voices • Bronx International School
our presence in Africa, where we are New Faces, New Places now working in 10 countries. NEW FACES: We are excited to welcome four new STEWARD people to our team We are ready to start one of Stevan Buxt, who joined Media Impact as the our most ambitious sustainableStevan Buxt STEWARD E-E Coordinator in August, is an experienced team leader and multi-media development programs yet. producer with more than 17 years professional STEWARD (Sustainable and development experience, having led a number of Social and Behavior Change Communication Thriving Environments for West projects. Stevan has lived in South Africa, the Africa Regional Development) is a United States, Mongolia, Indonesia, Nepal, forest conservation and sustainable Zimbabwe and France. Born in South Africa, E-E Workshop field trip in Sierra Stevan holds a BA Honors in Development livelihoods program that focuses on Economics as well as a Certificate in conserving trans-boundary “priority Leone for the My Chimpanzee-My Management Advancement from the University Community Program. of Witwatersrand in South Africa. zones” in the Upper Guinean Forest Ecosystem of Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Media Impact has partnered with USAID Building Capacity for Communications Alex Cottin joined Media Impact in May 2012 as and United States Forest Service to for Development in GABONAlex Cottin Program and Communications Manager. Prior to Media Impact, Alex served as Regional Director realize this three-year project. for Merlin USA, an international medical relief organization, where he led the Communications One of Africa’s two major lowland In August, Executive Director Sean and Development team. He is a dual citizen of France and the United States and has lived, rain forest regions, the Upper Southey and Communications studied and worked in the States, Europe, Guinean Forest covers an area Manager Alex Cottin traveled to Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean. of 420,000 square kilometers and Gabon to teach a ‘Communications He holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (in International Studies represents one of the world’s top for Development’ workshop in and Economics) and an MA in International biodiversity “hotspots” – regions with French to a team of nine Congolese Development from Sciences-Po, Paris. substantial reserves of biodiversity, and Gabonese graduate students. especially endemic species, which The five-day workshop was are under constant and severe part of a Masters’ Program in threat from human development. sustainable development. TheBrooke Gassel Brooke Gassel taught the My School-My Community program in New York City schools for The World Wide Fund for Nature students comprised the MENTOR two years, and joined Media Impact as program (WWF) has designated the Upper (Mentoring for Environmental officer of the project in August. Brooke completed the New York City Teaching Fellows program and Guinean forest as one of its Global Training in Outreach and Resource spent six years teaching English as a Second 200 critical regions for conservation, conservation) FOREST team. Prior Language (ESL) in public schools in the Bronx to the workshop, these students had and Manhattan. Originally from Philadelphia, as an alarming portion has been Brooke holds a BA in International Politics from deforested. Less than 25 percent of spent four months together studying New York University and a Master’s of Education the original forest-cover remains. biology, ecology, economics, in TESOL from Lehman College in the Bronx. statistics, tropical diseases and STEWARD represents Media extractive industries, among other Impact’s largest program to subjects. As the future leaders Lorena Rodriguez joined Media Impact in August date. We will provide the overall of Central Africa’s conservationLorena Rodríguez as the Bolivia Program Assistant. Lorena is a communications capability for movement, the students were eager specialist in communications for development, to gain the necessary tools to become and has experience with various artistic and STEWARD, centering on a cultural productions in Bolivia. She is an expert in 52-episode radio drama that will be skilled professional communicators marketing, customer service, client management broadcast in five languages across at the local and global level. and human resources. She has worked on major film productions such as “La Iluvia de Iciar the Guinean Forests’ four countries. The following is an excerpt from Alex Cottin’s bollain” (a Spanish and Mexican co-production It is a major step in our efforts to build from Mateo Gil Black Thorn) and produced events in the performing arts. Please join us in welcoming them to For more information about these programs, please visit our our team! website (www.mediaimpact.org).
blog, documenting his experience teachingthe workshop: “La Caldera” is a small border town where many different paths, realities, people, languages and colors have become Briefs: [The symbiotic nature and organic intertwined as they experience tender, raw, My Island-My Community receives anconnection between teachers and students] and violent moments each and every day. award: Our My Island – My Community is precisely what made the week magical. program in the Caribbean received the “Best We taught them a thing or two about Among La Caldera’s residents is Canela, a Monitoring and Evaluation Methodology” communication and they taught us tons lonely, yet brave teenager who has many award in July 2012, by the Rainforest about this beautiful part of the world and dreams for her life. Simon is an innocent Alliance’s Eco-Index. Eco-Index provides their expertise as a way to preserve it. We boy living in another neighborhood of information on conservation projects often say that communications is a two way La Caldera who comes from a wealthy across the Neotropics as a way to connect tool and that its power and impact lie in the family in the countryside. He works as practioners throughout the region. ability to balance speaking and listening. I a household servant and prefers living acan’t overemphasize just how important this reclusive, rather anonymous life. Another First Lady of Chiapas visits Media Impact: is and my experience with the MENTOR key resident of La Caldera is the mysterious The First Lady of Chiapas, Mexico, Isabel fellows this past week has really validated Senor X who observes all happenings from Aguilera de Sabines, met with Media Impactit. I don’t know many teachers who can walk the shadows. Senor X has recently arrived staff and Board members in June in our New away from a class having learned as much in La Caldera after fleeing a dismal job he York offices. The meeting celebrated the as I did in the process. That’s yet another had for many years that prohibited him from success of the telenovela Mucho Corazón testament to the power of communication. seeing daylight while he worked. and radio novela Corazón de Mujer, both of which were made possible by the FirstTo read more, please go to http://www. Canela, Simon, and Senor X all have a Lady’s efforts, and opened up doors for futuretravelblog.org/Africa/Gabon/blog-736129. tragic experience in common: they have collaboration.html been forced into one of the most horrific, large-scale human trafficking crime circles Partnership with UNFPA: Media Impact and at different times in their lives. Will this UNFPA Peru built on its existing relationship young boy, teenager, and adult man to sign a 5 –year collaborative agreement succeed in escaping their abusers of the for our work in Peru. Extending this past and present? Or will they continue partnership will bring capacity building and living in a life or death situation? Will they Entertainment-Education programming to learn how to watch out for themselves? even more regions of Peru with an emphasis on youth participation and development. The partnership will support UNFPA’s work to facilitate youth access to sexual health services and resources set up to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexual violenceGroup photo after a succesful and STIs – especially HIV and AIDS.Communications for Developmentworkshop in Gabon. REDD in Liberia: Sean Southey, Brenda Campos, and Stevan Buxt traveled to Liberia in September to launch the My Forest- My Community program, which aims toHuman Trafficking in fully engage local Liberian communities inBOLIVIA Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) activities. REDD programs in Liberia offer a powerful Focus group with members of a mechanism to help make the shift to aIn partnership with the Narcotics house workers’ union about human more sustainable approach to development.Affairs Section (NAS) of the U.S. trafficking in Bolivia. This Fauna and Flora International (FFI) partnership with Media Impact will focus onEmbassy, Media Impact is producing expanding the capacity of FFI and its localits first human trafficking radio partners to effectively use networking, publicdrama. Our team is working closely awareness and creative communications towith the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia, shift behaviors regarding sustainable forestry.its partners and consultants on Media Impact joins IUCN: On Septemberhuman trafficking to develop the 5, the International Union for Conservationinitial scripts of a radio drama that of Nature (IUCN) council welcomedwill support their efforts in preventing Media Impact as an official member. Thehuman trafficking, including labor announcement was made at the IUCN’s 79th meeting, held in Jeju, South Korea,and sexual exploitation. Here is a The First Lady of Chiapas with our during the World Conservation Congress.glimpse of the plot line: Board Chair, Fred Cohen, and Vice IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global Chair, Rita Fredricks Salzman. environmental organization.
Inspiring Change One Story at a Time:A farewell from team member Lindsey WahlstromAfter three wonderful years working full time for Media Impact, LindseyWahlstrom, our previous Communications Manager, has gone on to pursuea Master’s degree at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. Whileat school, Lindsey will continue to support Media Impact’s work by managingthe Mentor (internship) Program. We are thrilled that Lindsey will continueto be onboard and wish her all the best in this new endeavor. Here’s anexcerpt from a personal essay written by Lindsey about her experience withMedia Impact: Lindsey Wahlstrom reflects on the power and impact of communication.“Parents should give their children roots and wings. But I’m worriedwe only gave you wings.” But You Made the Front Page!The words of my father have often echoed in my head as I meandered Sonny Fox, who served as PCI-Media Impact’s Chairman from January 1993 to December 1995,through verdant hills and lazy rivers of sleepy villages in countries farfrom my own. Over the years, my trips have taken me farther off the then as Vice President of US Programs frombeaten track and for the past decade, all winding paths seemed to January 1996 to December 2005, is publishing alead to hidden hamlets inhabited by communities living in harmony memoir entitled, But You Made the Front Page!with nature. Unlike the diagnosis my father offered for my seeming “From the joys and torments of a too-acceleratedinability to sit still, the communities I visited were rooted to place,Brooklyn Jewish childhood and the horrors of be-tethered by thousands of years of history. Most had no interest in the ing a German prisoner in World War II, through a“wings” part of his equation. thrilling and bumpy career in every aspect of tel- evision imaginable, private and public, Sonny FoxThere is a special symbiosis that happens when a community stew- shares intimate stories of a man who often suc-ards one piece of land for thousands of years. In Meghalaya, India, ceeded yet learned how to fail without ever beingit takes the shape of living bridges made from the roots of trees that a failure — and has felt grateful for every bit of it.”offer safe passage to their custodians. In the Amazon, this partner- Here is an excerpt from the Memoir:ship restores forests plundered for natural resources. Unfortunately,pressures from a quickly increasing global population and even faster Trying to change behavior is tough, and that’s the businessgrowing patterns of consumption constantly threaten this delicate PCI was in. It was relatively easy to raise the profile of a problem. The difficult part was to pierce the decades—orbalance. In recent travels, I have witnessed mountains disappear as centuries—of custom and make a difference. In St. Lu-people search for gold; bubbling brooks turn stagnant and toxic from cia, the job was made even more difficult when the writerssludge seeping in from nearby oil wells; and deforested hills crumble were told they could not use the word ‘condom’ due to thein landslides after the seasonal rains were made worse by climate sensitivity of the church. Our writers decided to use the wordchange. ‘catapult’ each time condom would have occurred. The per- son would ask, “Are you getting a lubricated catapult?” Or a woman would say, “Not without using a catapult.” As theFor the past three-and-a-half years, I have been honored to be a series continued, listeners started to use the term ‘catapult’part of Media Impact’s important work, first directly supporting the to show they were ‘in the know’. Eventually, an organizationdevelopment and implementation of programs, and later overseeing on the island decided to market condoms using the brandMedia Impact’s external communications. After seeing the catharsis name “Catapult.” It soon became the biggest selling brand in St. Lucia. In the ad business, this is known as a tracer—thea young-man felt after portraying himself in a drama about abuse, thread one can follow from its origin on the program intoand hearing the haunting sobs of relief that escape listeners who call society. This would have to go down as a unique tracer inin to say “this happened to me too,” there is no doubt in my mind that the annals of research!stories have the ability to change lives and, quite possibly, the world. If you’re interested in the book or would like more informa- tion, please contact Alex Cottin – Communications Manager. DOUBLE YOUR GIFT Double the impact of your gift to PCI-Media Impact by participating in your employer’s matching gift program. These programs match gifts that employees (as well as retirees, spouses and directors) make to non-profit organizations. Matching gift levels vary by company, but regardless of the amount, these gifts represent a significant support for us. Your human resources department can help you fill out the paperwork. Thank you for your support!PCI-Media Impact -- 777 United Nations Plaza, 5th Floor, New York, NY, 10017 USA -- 1.212.687.3366 -- www.mediaimpact.org