The goal of this project is to generate activities that will help activists and teachers learn from and reflect on past and current struggles for media justice. Throughout history activists have worked on two fronts: creating their own means of communication and fighting for changes in mainstream communications systems. Much of this history has evaporated. Some of it is buried in book chapters or personal files or archives waiting to be discovered or rediscovered by scholars. By documenting these stories, this project hopes to demystify the processes that lead to media policy change and inspire others to get involved. This project is a volunteer effort and this site is a work-in-progress. Your ideas and collaboration are welcome. Click on the contact tab at the top of this page to get in touch.
Coordinator: Martha Wallner activist & consultant
Website design & multi-media: Salvador Pantoja, independent video/multi-media artist and activist.
Research and production expenses for this website were partially funded by a “tool-kit” grant from The Media Justice Fund of the Funding Exchange.
The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio, Texas, is the fiscal sponsor for this project. The Esperanza promotes networking of social, economic, environmental justice and community- based arts organizations. It’s programs include Arte Es Vida, ArtEscuela and MujerArtes. It also publishes the La Voz newsletter, a forum for criticism, information, education, humor and creative works in response to local and global problems.
Advisory Board for the Media Justice History Project:
Graciela I. Sánchez is the Executive Director of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center where she has visioned the role of the Esperanza along with board and community for over 15 years. Sanchez is a co-founder of MAG-Net and has served on numerous boards including the Astraea Foundation, the National Lesbian Gay Task Force, Deep Dish TV and the OUT FUND.
Dalida Maria Benfield is a filmmaker, artist, activist and scholar. She co-founded the popular education and media arts center, Video Machete in Chicago and chaired the Department of Arts Education at the Chicago Art Institute. She is Currently a Phd. candidate at the Ethnic Studies Department, U.C. Berkeley.
Loni Ding (1931-2010) was the director of a number of award-winning documentaries including the Ancestors in the Americas series. Loni was a key organizer in the establishment of NAATA (now the Center for Asian American Media) and ITVS, the Independent Television Service. [We miss Loni dearly – a profile of her as a media justice pioneer will be added to this site in the future]
Louis Massiah is an award-winning documentary producer and the the founder and Executive Director of Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia, PA, where he launched the Precious Places Community History Project.
Tammy Ko Robinson is on the faculty of the San Francisco Art Institute and is director of SFAI’s City Studio program, a year-round program for youth in Richmond, Oakland and San Francisco. Robinson was a member of the Video Machete Collective in Chicago and is currenlty on the boards of the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center and INCITE!