Final Project Post 4

While thinking about what I could do to make a difference, and looking at it through the idea of this class, I realized that by doing exactly what I’m doing, sharing my experiences through blog posts, I can make a difference.

By having conversations with future educators about the need for teaching tolerance and acceptance, I can make a difference. By speaking up when people are making “jokes” at the expense of others, I can make a difference. This semester, I have learned about the wide reach social media can have if it used effectively. What I am hoping to continue is using my media reach in order to promote tolerance, and I hope that my reach can impact people, even if it is only just one person who is able to reach just one more person, because that is how larger-scale change happens.

If everyone was to make small changes in order to promote acceptance, in the words of President John F. Kennedy, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try”. We have seen the effects of people joining together to make change, this is how many of the social movements we have studied have begun, and it is up to the people our age to start these social movements and make the changes we want to happen.

Final Project Post 3

Continuing on with my first two posts about teaching tolerance, I have been thinking about my time here at Kutztown, and even my experiences growing up. My family moved from a very diverse town to a town that had very little diversity along the Jersey Shore. You could essentially count on one hand, maybe two, the number of non-white students in my graduating class. We had 3 Asian students, 3 Black students, and a Pakistani girl, and that’s about all the diversity I can think of- and I was friends with all of them. Although there was very little diversity, there were never incidents of bullying or racism that occurred within my class during our high school experience.

Fast forward and now I’m in college in a very different area than I grew up in, I had never experienced the “rural life” and it was definitely culture shock when I first arrived. Horse and buggies aside, I quickly got used to having to drive a minimum of 20 minutes to reach anything, despite having grown up in an area where everything was within a 5 minute drive. I met a lot of people who were very similar to me, some people were also from Jersey, some were from the area but shared a lot of similar ideologies. I found the campus to be overall pretty liberal and accepting, but I believe that most colleges are.

The one thing I found very interesting about Kutztown University was overall acceptance of the LGBT community. I had made many friends who were either part of the LGBT community, or who were accepting of my being a part of the community at the very least. While the college students have are for the most part very accepting, I have found the people of the town of Kutztown as well as people from the surrounding area to be not so tolerant. When one of my friends asked if I would like to join her and her boyfriend (both from Berks County) to go to New York City for the day over winter break, I said, “Sure, Jenn (my girlfriend at the time) and I would love to” and my friend said back to me, “It would probably make my boyfriend uncomfortable if you were there as a couple” as if I was supposed to be okay with them being all over each other but not being allowed to spend my day with my own significant other to make sure he was comfortable.

I let the conversation go, I just said I would check my calendar and let them know, although I had already decided that I would not be able to make it. Aside from occasional stares and a few comments here and there, I did not have a lot of other negative experiences with the people of Kutztown or the students of the university.

Then disaster struck. Election 2016.

Tearing families and friendships apart. Half of the campus was mourning Bernie losing the democratic bid, a quarter was wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and screaming to “Impeach Hillary”, and the last quarter was sure that Hillary would win because there was no way Americans would actually be dumb enough to elect “The giant angry Cheeto” into office.

Following the results of the election, a series of White-nationalist posters were found on campus, and there has been a nation-wide resurgence of intolerance. What is this word coming to? How is it that there had been so much progress and suddenly people are openly hating one another?

 

By any Media Necessary Post 4

Ahh the dreaded audio post- after some initial technical difficulties attempting to use audacity, a partial mental breakdown, and some trial and error…here we are. For this post, I have learned how to record audio, how to put that file into Audacity, and how to edit it from that software. I feel like this has all been extremely beneficial, and many of these skills I will be able to take into my future profession. While it is not a full podcast, I am still happy with my work, although my editing skills (as poor as they are) definitely show through in this audio clip. This project will help me to be able to work Audacity and Soundcloud in the future.

By any Media Necessary Post 3

 

While this post was initially supposed to be an audio post about By Any Media Necessary, it is now another blog post (luckily, because I was having major tech issues with Audacity and Soundcloud). The more I learn about blogging and using media to promote large scale social movements, the more I enjoy each of these posts, because I get to implement my newfound skills, as well as getting to see how far my writing reaches.

I find this book to be extremely interesting, if not slightly repetitive from everything else we’ve read this semester. But I also find it interesting in its own way because of how new and how relevant the entire work is to youth media, a highly unpopular area of media.

One of the parts I found to be extremely interesting about the book was the discussion of Muslim Americans who are feeling disconnected from the rest of society because of religious differences. I related this to the feelings of many members of the LGBT community, because they are also often treated as “the Other” and through the use of social media, many members of both the LGBT community as well as the Muslim American community have found allies. Both groups have begun to use “coming out” videos to share their personal stories, as well as a way to identify within the larger global community exactly who they are. Media helps to unite people from all different groups who might have otherwise felt alienated from the larger societal group they are “supposed” to belong to.

By any Media Necessary Post 2

I find this book to be very interesting, as well as almost paradoxical in nature. The book looks to cover very mature content, yet does so in a very young way. The book contains a cartoon drawing on the cover, and talks a lot about pop culture influence, but also serves as an adult version of a lot of content that would go over kids’ heads. In the section being covered in this post, the book jumped from Kony2012 to talking about the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) and the influence of fandoms and pop culture onkony_2012_by_lostturkey-d4s6aag society.

What Jenkins says about the influence of media is very interesting, as we saw with Kony2012, and the campaign to help Invisible Children, there were millions upon millions of people who had watched the video. 70 million people to be exact, and in just a half hour after watching the video, many people wanted to go out and make a change in society. The impact of Kony2012 reached far beyond people watching a video, people now knew of the social injustice that had occurred in Uganda. People were no longer ignorant of the many lives that were affected by using child soldiers, or the horrible conditions these children were forced to live under.

Without the use of media, there would not be such a rallying force to help make social change. By allowing individual’s interests to flourish in activist centered groups based off of popular culture and the fandoms people enjoy, it makes people want to be more involved. When interests and activism overlap, it promotes people to join together with people they share common interests with in order to make social change.

 

Media and Social Justice Post 4

I found this section of the reading to overall be very interesting, particularly Chapter 14, which focused on shifts in the way media and philanthropy work. Right before starting my college career, I spent some time in Seattle, Washington where I learned about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This amazing foundation has provided amazing services since its founding in 1997, including medical care for women and children in the developing world.

The use of media for a major foundation such as the Gates’ is very influential on society. While many people know who Bill Gates is, it is not as often that they know of the work the foundation has done. After walking through the building of the foundation, I was blown away by just how much one family has been able to do, and the huge impact it has had on the lives of many individuals who otherwise would not have received medical treatment or scholarship money in order to better their lives.

Philanthropy has always been seen as a bunch of rich guys giving money to poor people to make themselves seem like better people (think back to the days of Carnegie and Rockefeller) yet today, Philanthropy is more than that. By sending cameras into developing countries following around doctors who are giving medical attention to those in need, it shows the particular extent to the ways in which people are being helped. The media can also be used to keep these huge foundations and the people they represent from straying from doing the right thing.

The media that portrays a huge company that represents a foundation is the same media that every day people look to when deciding if they support the values of a company which can determine whether or not a person uses the services of a company. Media, and a company’s presence in the media often changes the impact it has and can also help dictate the success of the presence of a company.

Media and Social Justice Post 3

When I think of social movements, many times my first thought is of feminism. As a woman, one of the most important goals I have is to gain success in a world where there are equal opportunities for men and women. Despite huge gains following the third-wave of feminism, there is still a long way to go before all women are truly treated equal to men in society. download

The use of social media in order to spread awareness about current societal inequalities has promoted good starts to the beginnings of social change, but there has also been a lot of social media clapback from these advancements. As I walked through the concourse of Old Main today (my Kutztown readers would know the place) I passes by a table of women who were offering information about “Equal Pay Day” an international event that focuses on addressing the wage gap between men and women.

Despite events such as the one I passed today, there is still a lot of negativity associated with feminism, and many times this negativity comes from men who do not realize how detrimental this wage gap actually is. There are few women who have gained positions of power in both politics and in corporate America, and the women who have often receive negative feed back for “abandoning their responsibilities to their homes and families”. One of the best examples of this was seen in the previous election cycle, Hillary Clinton was often asked about having to leave her grandkids, yet President Trump was never bothered with questions about his responsibilities to his family.

The media has benefited women today to a certain extent, yet it has also caused a lot of detriment. Women are now faced with body shaming if they do not live up to beauty standards of actresses and models, and are criticized for looking for fulfillment in business or politics, instead of in the home. There is no doubt that media has made a difference in the lives of American women, yet this difference is not always positive.