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Youth Media Rise

Media Rise is a global nonprofit volunteer-driven alliance that connects people and ideas to promote meaningful media. They believe in the power of positive storytelling, media, art and design to make the world a better place.
Join us for a festival-within-a-festival for youth (ages 13 to 18), media educators, and engaged parents on critical media literacy education and using meaningful media for social good. Participants will have the opportunity to continue working with their small-group collaborative teams to apply the skills from these workshops on real-world socially relevant, meaningful media projects. Due to the generous support of our sponsors, we are able to offer Youth Media Rise for free for both educators and youth this year. We invite youth activists, teachers, engaged parents, and youth to take advantage of this offer. Registration is limited. Sign up today to reserve your spot.
Renee Hobbs
Dr. Renee Hobbs, Founder & Director, Media Education Lab
Renee Hobbs is one of the nation's leading authorities on digital and media literacy education. She is the author of 4 books, more than 150 scholarly and professional articles, and award-winning multimedia including My Pop Studio and Mind Over Media: Analyzing Contemporary Propaganda. Hobbs and her colleague Julie Coiro have developed the URI Graduate Certificate in Digital Literacy, a professional development program for educators, librarians and media professionals. Hobbs has has a special interest in advancing global media literacy, having offered professional development programs for educators in Germany, Israel, Turkey, China, Croatia and many other nations.
Jordi Torrent
Jordi Torrent, Project Manager, Media Literacy, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
After obtaining a degree in Philosophy at the University of Barcelona, Mr. Torrent followed graduate studies in Paris at the Sorbonne University (Film Esthetics) and at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Anthropology Filmmaking). From 1985 to 1990 Mr. Torrent was Media Curator at Exit Art, New York, where he organized film/video programs on, among others, Samuel Beckett’s media work and the television work of Raul Ruiz. He was Media Educator Consultant for the Department of Education of New York City from 1990 to 2007. From 2004-2008 he was co-director of “Overseas Conversations”, a series of international conferences focusing on youth, media and education.  He co-edited, among other publications, the book “Mapping Media Education Policies in the World”, published by UNAOC and UNESCO and Youth Media Visions: Conversations Across Cultures, published by Columbia University. Currently Mr. Torrent manages the Media and Information Literacy initiatives at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).
Srivi Ramasubramanian
Dr. Srivi Ramasubramanian, Co-Founder of Media Rise; Associate Professor of Communication, Texas A&M University
Dr. Srivi Ramasubramanian is Associate Dean for Climate & Inclusion in the College of Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University. She earned her Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Penn State University, after which she was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Ramasubramanian has published over 25 journal articles/book chapters and taught over 18 courses on media psychology, gender and racial stereotyping, global media & social change, and cultural diversity. Her research primarily looks at how media stereotypes and counter-stereotypes influence audiences’ attitudes about race, gender, nationality and sexuality. Her recent projects examine media entertainment as a tool for prejudice reduction, digital new media literacy in youth contexts, and the relevance of Eastern philosophies such as mindfulness to the study of media. She is also co-founder and Executive Director of Media Rise.
Hawah Kasat
Hawah, Artist, Yogi & Director, One Common Unity
As an artist, author, educator, yoga instructor, and community organizer, Hawah Kasat has dedicated his life to teaching about solutions to violence and ways of peace. Hawah has taken his mission to over 34 countries in the past 14 years. He is co-founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit One Common Unity, has acted as a youth representative to the UN World Conference Against Racism and appeared on XM National Satellite Radio, BBC, CNN, Pacifica Radio Network, NPR, and Al-Jazeera. He has authored four books, produced three documentary films and two music albums, and is the creator/editor of the “Poetry of Yoga” book anthology, which features Grammy award-winning musicians.

Rodney Johnson, Program Facilitator, One Common Unity
As likely to be spotted at a protest as an open mic, Rodney “OGB” Johnson is a spoken word artist with deep roots in the district. An alumni of the DC youth slam team Rodney has performed all around the city. From teaching workshops to marching in the streets in protest Johnson has always had a deep love for poetry and activism. A young Rastafarian with a belief that movement is therapeutic, he has a deep passion for teaching. His experiences with community, racism, and adversity are all big influences for his writing.
Ashley Simmons
Ashley Simmons, Program Coordinator, Gandhi Brigade
Born in Washington, DC, Ashley Simmons moved to Atlanta when she was eight and decided to come back to her hometown to attend Howard University. While studying English and African Studies, Ashley took a great interest in education and sought to further her career in this field. Ashley has worked with the Gandhi Brigade in the past as a Program Coordinator and after 18 months, she has returned to be the Director of Programs for the organization.
Kelli Anderson
Kelli Anderson, Founder & Publisher, Sojournals
Kelli M. Anderson is an interactive media strategist, new media artist, and arts educator in the Washington, DC metro area. She holds a MA in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University and provides consulting through her interactive media company Sojournals. She also teaches new media at Duke Ellington School of the Arts within its Literary Media & Communications department, with a focus on immersive storytelling and interactive media.As a digital storyteller her works have explored identity, sexuality, and community through documentary shorts and interactive media, and have been featured at The Making of…Live at SFMOMA, The John F. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and Smithsonian LVM. She was the social media strategist and interactive media artist for Ceremonies of Dark Men, a 5×5 Public Art Project commissioned by DC Commission of the Arts & Humanities Fall 2014. Kelli’s latest projects, tech culture musings, and liberated notions of Afrofuturism can be read on her blog TechTasters.
Michelle Santos
Michelle Santos, Director of Journalism and Media Arts, Richard Wright Public Charter School
Michelle Santos is a passionate individual, balancing her time as educator, administrator, mural artist, martial artist, and mom of 3 beautiful and creative individuals. She received her B.F.A. from the Ohio State University; her M.F.A. from Maryland Institute, College of Art; and her M.S.Ed. from Johns Hopkins University. Santos has taught K-12 and college, public and private, with experience of over 15 years. Her commissioned murals are located in Baltimore city and beyond. Santos is committed to helping young people become positive change agents, creative contributors, and critical thinkers, working towards a holistic evolution for all.


This track is focused on sharing cutting-edge research and best practices on critical media education with youth activists, high-school teachers, and engaged parents to amplify youth voices about social and environmental issues.
Agenda for Educator Track:
2:00-2:30 p.m. - Welcome and orientation by Kelli Anderson
2:30-3:30 p.m. - Keynote speech by Dr. Renee Hobbs on effective ways of incorporating media literacy into the classroom and beyond.
3:30-4:30 p.m. - Panel discussion by Jordi Torrent and Dr. Srivi Ramasubramanian on positive storytelling and media literacy for promoting meaningful youth media.
4:30-5:00 p.m. - Sharing and wrap-up

This track features interactive youth-led workshops targeted at budding journalists and creative media artists committed to meaningful media and social change.
Agenda for Youth Track:
2:00-2:30 p.m. - Welcome and orientation by Michelle Santos
2:30-3:30 p.m. - Workshop by HawaH on The Making of "Fly By Light": Collaborative digital storytelling for peace and social good 
3:30-4:30 p.m. - Workshop by Ashley Simmons on social media for social justice
4:30-5:00 p.m. - Sharing and wrap-up
Richard Wright Public Charter School, 770 M St SE, Washington, DC 20003