As many of you may know, Malkia Cyril, longtime director and a founder of Center for Media Justice (CMJ), has been awarded a fellowship and sabbatical from her work at CMJ to focus on her health and writing. We are grateful to our allies, donors, supporters and friends for all the well wishes and support. Malkia is doing really well, and we are excited for her to come back stronger than ever.
While we all miss Malkia and her leadership greatly, we want everyone to know that CMJ’s work—media policy change to end poverty and racism and strategic communications for community organizing—is having an even greater impact than ever.
We’ve got good news to report: some amazing victories and recent additions to our staff.
We are proud of our leadership in fighting AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile. On August 31, due to the work of CMJ, MAGNet and our allies FreePress, Public Knowledge, Consumers Union, ColorofChange.org, and others, the Department of Justice filed an anti-trust lawsuit to block AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile. We believe that blocking this merger will be a major victory for communities of color, rural communities and America’s poor.
For too long media policy was, in the eyes of many, only for telecom companies and nerds. We’re proud of changing this dynamic with a new vision for the future of media policy.
And in September, leaders from organizations around the U.S. met in Washington, D.C., for the sixth annual Knowledge Exchange, a strategy convening hosted by Center for Media Justice and Consumers Union. Over the years, the Knowledge Exchange has helped to transform the way beltway and grassroots groups work together to change media policy, with grassroots voices and goals at the forefront. We also launched a sister campaign to Latin@s for Internet Freedom: Black Voices for Internet Freedom.
We know that without grassroots organizing, we wouldn’t be able to secure jobs, healthcare, education, and other basic needs for our communities. We also know that without effective communications, we wouldn’t be able to make our solutions and values matter in the public debate. But right now organizing and strategic communications for racial justice, economic equity and human rights are under attack. The spectrum of political debate is getting dangerously narrowed and pulled away from the real needs of communities. There is increasing urgency to amplify our work to create the culture, policies, and conditions that allow our communities to not just survive, but to thrive.
We believe that the seeds of this transformation are growing in the work we already do.
That’s why CMJ is coming together with a cadre of communications practitioners, grassroots organizing alliances, funders and other innovators to form the Echo Justice Initiative. Through field research and strategic convening, CMJ will explore movement-building solutions to the communications problems faced by justice sectors.
None of this would be possible without our exciting recent growth. We’re thrilled to introduce you to our newest staff members.
Please help us welcome Brandi Collins, based out of CMJ’s office in Oakland, as our new communications manager. In her spare time, Brandi likes nerding it up- she can be found watching documentaries, reading non-fiction books, tweeting indignantly, and blogging her feelings. If you are a journalist interested in our work, please contact Brandi at brandi(at)centerformediajustice(dot)org.
Please help us welcome Alison Roh Park, based out of New York, as our new Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator. When she’s off the clock, you might find Alison busy repping her native Queens, NY neighborhood, going on local adventures with her canine companion, eating, and cooking. If you are an organizer or activist interested in our communications expertise, contact Alison at alison(at)centerformediajustice(dot)org.