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Media Literacy Skills is Crucial in Social Change Work

Did you know that media literacy is an important skill not only as a DEI Practitioner, but also as a human being? 

What is media literacy?

The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) defines media literacy as "the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act using all forms of communication."

It is a broadened definition of literacy that includes media beyond text and promotes curiosity about the media we consume and create.

In the past 20 years, the manner in which we receive and dispense information is very different than it was and critical thinking regarding the information we consume is essential to maintaining a civilization.

Why is this so important?

Because misinformation and disinformation are public health crises and epidemics. It also doesn't help that we are bombarded with messages that tie so heavily to White Supremacy Culture : "worship of the written word", "a sense of urgency", "right to comfort", etc.

In light of events such as 2018 U.S. Presidential election, COVID pandemic, Racially-motivated police violence in the US, War between Ukraine & Russia, and the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinian people, it is apparent that not all sources, messages, and information are created equal and therefore requires us as individuals to analyze information which helps determine our actions and how we view our world. 

We have lots of historical context of what happens when we fail here. 

NAMLE has listed principles for media literacy and I implore everyone to please read, digest, and start putting these principles into practice. 

AI and machine learning have compounded the problem as these are tools that can also support misinformation and disinformation in our spaces when in problematic hands. 

It's time to get critical about the information we are being fed. 

It's time to challenge and question. Develop courage. "Politeness" often hinders us from getting to the truth. Kindness is rooted in humanity. Politeness is rooted in ego.

It's time to think, reflect, and analyze before we speak. 

It's time to realize that the media we absorb can be problematic, and it's key to liberation in recognizing unethical journalistic practices, misinformation, and disinformation. 

It's time to ask:

"Who's saying this?"

"Who's 'They?'"

"Where are the sources?"

"Who stands to gain/lose?"

"What labels are being used and when (and to which group/individual?"

Without the concepts of ethics, trust, and truth, there is no civilization. There is no positive change or liberation on any scale. And yes, it is that deep. It's time to be discerning and to develop our critical thinking skills to review the information we so willingly absorb from all over the world.

Let's get critical (thinking). Lives has always depended on it. Stay curious. Stay vigilant. Stay liberation-oriented.


Meet the Media Monsters: Find out which one you may be and how to change!

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