By Erick Boustead of Line Break Media

Sometimes in life, you spend time with a group of people that you know you’ll be connected with for long into the future. My first National Conference on Media Reform experience would not have been so substantive had it not been for the Center for Media Justice and MAG-Net’s social justice delegation. The collective experience and span of backgrounds in the group allowed for much learning and knowledge sharing throughout the weekend.  

In getting to know the delegates, it was reassuring to discuss many different topics including GLBTQ, immigration, women in the media, racial justice, and climate change, and have a mutual understanding of how important media justice was as a foundation and catalyst for these movements to grow. 

One thing that has stuck with me is Malkia’s comment in the wrap-up session about building a conference within a conference. While I feel CMJ and MAG-Net were very visible and woven well into the overall program, there was also a necessary container built from the beginning to foster a space for the justice movements that were represented to collaborate and build. 

Along with getting to know delegates who are focused on specific issues, I was also privileged to meet people and organizations that are devoted to supporting activists and frontline communities in learning how to communicate their stories through media. As I am new to the field of media trainings and production, I was excited to discuss these topics with MAG-Net members from established groups such as The People’s Production House and The Media Literacy Project.

Less than two weeks has passed since the conference, and I have already been in communication with people from where I’m from – that I met through the delegation – as well as people from around the nation, to continue connecting and building upon existing efforts. 

I look forward to getting to know CMJ and MAG-Net members more into the future. Sign me up for the next conference within a conference, workshop, training or action to get media in the hands of the people!


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