by Rob Williams
The Action Coalition for Media Education’s leadership and network turned out in force for the revival of the one-day Northeast Media Literacy Conference (#NMLC) at Central Connecticut State University on February 4.
Dr. Lori Bindig Yousman, ACME secretary and founder of Sacred Heart University’s Media Literacy and Digital Culture (MLDC) graduate program, welcomed the 100 attendees, stressing ACME’s critical media literacy education stance as well as our long-standing and fierce commitment to independently funded CMLE initiatives free of Big Media money. Dr. Bill Yousman, ACME board member and MLDC director, participated in the event’s opening panel, speaking about the importance of action-oriented CMLE, honoring the legendary Stuart Hall and his call for moving beyond simply theorizing to a media education praxis that actively works for and supports social and racial justice.
ACME board members provided leadership on various CMLE initiatives throughout the day, with ACME co-presidents Dr. Julie Frechette and Dr. Rob Williams sharing via workshop their emerging work on the Global Critical Media Literacy Project, a new free and easy-to-use digital student publishing initiative co-sponsored by ACME, SHU, and California-based Project Censored, while newest ACME board member Allison Butler led two #NMLC afternoon sessions on the “fake news” phenomenon, as well as providing attendees with free CMLE resources for teaching news literacy. ACME vice president Ben Boyington and ACME board members John Boyer and Gordon Glover shared a number of insights regarding the current political climate and emerging collaborative initiatives throughout the day, as well as engaging in productive dialogue with a variety of other MLE organizations from around the Northeast. It is ACME’s hope to make our presence at CCSU a regular phenomenon—look for information regarding the next NCML conference in November 2018. Thanks to Dr. Yonty Friesem for organizing this event and to CCSU for hosting this group of engaged MLE educators and activists.