Making Media, Making Change Program Director Raechel Jolie announces the program’s new title.
I’m excited to share that HECUA’s program has been renamed Media and Movements: Storytelling for Justice. The core of this course has always been about the role of media narratives in shaping (or hindering) change, and significant change can’t happen without a movement behind it.
Additionally, by centering the word “justice” in our program name, HECUA is taking an unabashed stance — as we talk about in this program — that there is no place for neutrality in an unjust society, and so our praxis is one that aspires toward liberation.
That stories have power is something we know from centuries of political and social struggle; this past summer in Minneapolis amplified the stakes of particular narratives. As a community, we witnessed a movement for racial justice take new shape – from “Black Lives Matter” to “Defund the Police.” The messages that guide political protest impact our realities.
In the Media and Movements program, we talk about these rhetorics of survival and also ask questions about the outlets that circulate them. How does mainstream news coverage frame rebellion? How does social media play a role in the information we get about what’s happening on the ground, and what is our responsibility as activists and organizers to document change? Who gets to tell these stories? Which voices are amplified? How can our stories – and the media that relay them – center those most impacted by oppressive systems? How can our narratives reveal not just our pain, but also our dreams?
This name change is an effort to proclaim a commitment to justice, and reiterate HECUA’s belief that we must take stories seriously. The course will remain a space for media-making, discussion, analysis, and visits with some of the most inspiring media activists in the Twin Cities. We’re excited for this name change to tell a new chapter of HECUA’s story.