In recent years, two of our students have shared with us astonishing work on media literarcy: Cara Lisa Powers, who graduated several years ago and focuses on working with teens, and Mary Rothschild, currently in her final semester and focusing on helping parents, teachers and children navigate media for kids.
Cara’s not-for-profit, By Any Media Necessary, follows its mission “to provide interactive and engaging bridges from entertainment media to education and action.” Cara’s book of the same title was also the lion’s share of her master’s thesis. Cara develops all manner of curricula as well as action toolkits and public forums to help youth as well as their educations and community activists engage in greater dialogue about media and community. She’s currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change at Clark University.
Mary’s organization, Healthy Media Choices, provides education and tools for parents and teachers and others working with children, drawing from a multi-cultural perspective and from narrative theory and therapy. In addition to a regular radio show (some of which are available in podcasts at WVEW from Brattleboro, VT., Mary presents workshops and trainings throughout the Northeast, and consults with organizations widely.
Both Mary and Cara help people concentrate on the real and enduring stories of their lives rather than mindlessly accepting the media stories about who to be. Their work is rich and far-reaching.