Every year news magazine the Advocate features Forty Under 40, which they define as “budding powerhouses, leaders in media, politics, sports, and science that are facilitating our future.” This year Executive Director Malkia Cyril was selected as one of the forty people changing the world we live in.
Some corrections to the original article: Malkia is actually 38, not 34. Also she co-founded the Media Action Grassroots Network in partnership with other social justice leaders.
The Advocate: Forty Under 40
For the last decade, Malkia Cyril’s to-do list included ending racism, solving poverty, and raising the voices of those seeking social justice. Lofty objectives, but she is determined to cross those items off her list.
In 2002 she launched the Center for Media Justice, an organization that trains social justice organizers to communicate their causes more effectively. She was also one of the co-founders of the Media Action Grassroots Network, which ensures people aren’t left out of the national conversation just because they’re technology-deficient. The group lobbied against a proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile and helped establish “a minimal version of network neutrality—the first free speech rules to govern the Internet.” Cyril says there is still much to be done, especially online. She’s focused on preserving the Internet as a knowledge tool for citizens and discouraging its use as a marketing instrument for corporate America.
“I want media change I can measure, media leaders that rock, and media rules that protect our basic human rights,” she says. “Is that too much too ask?”