We believe that the right to communicate belongs to everyone. When we oppose media consolidation, we take a stand for the rights of workers whose jobs are being eliminated by corporate mergers, and for working families forced to pay more for reduced services. When we fight for media representation, we counter the stereotypes that help regressive policies flourish, and win better coverage of our communities and issues. Community ownership of media infrastructure leads to robust local economies and stronger, more engaged communities. When we hold those in power accountable for our rights in a digital age, we counter the surveillance used to cripple our communities and our campaigns.
MediaJustice is a grassroots organization founded on the principle that media is not a sidebar to the mortal impact on social and economic justice movements, but one of the main issues. Created in 2004 by local media activist groups, the Youth Media Council, Media Alliance, Reclaim the Media, and Media Tank, with support from the Media Democracy Fund— the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) became a project of the Center for Media Justice in 2008. Founded in 2009 by Malkia Devich-Cyril, Amy Sonnie, and Jen Soriano — MediaJustice boldly advances communication rights, access, and power for communities harmed by persistent dehumanization, discrimination and disadvantage.
Malkia Devich Cyril is a writer, public speaker and award winning activist on issues of digital rights, narrative power, Black liberation and collective grief; and is the founding and former executive director of MediaJustice — a national hub boldly advancing racial justice, rights and dignity in a digital age. In 2002, Malkia Devich Cyril helped coin the term “Media Justice”, and in 2019 declared that one significant goal of the Media Justice movement was to “fight for a future where we are all connected, represented and free.”
After more than 20 years of media justice leadership, Devich-Cyril now serves as a Senior Fellow at both Media Justice and at Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, while spearheading new projects to transform public narratives on race, power and collective grief in a digital age. Devich Cyril’s writing has been published in The Atlantic, Wired Magazine, CNN.com, The Washington Post, The Guardian, In These Times, the Nation, McSweeney’s, TechCrunch, the Progressive, Truthout and We Will Not Cancel Us — a book by adrienne maree brown, among many others. Additional appearances include documentaries Outfoxed (2004), Miss Representation (2011), 13TH, the acclaimed documentary by director Ava Duvernay (2016), and Free For All: Inside the Public Library (2020).
Amy Sonnie is writer, activist, and librarian. She is the author of two acclaimed books on U.S. social movements: Revolutionary Voices, which introduced the country to a rising generation of queer and transgender youth activism, and Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power, which documents significant histories of working-class, interracial solidarity during the 1960s. For more than 20 years, Amy has worked at the intersection of media and social justice. As co-founder of the Center for Media Justice with Malkia Cyril and Jen Soriano, Amy helped grow the Youth Media Council into a national network and later served on the Board from 2013-2020. As a librarian, Amy developed award-winning youth leadership programs and authored Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries (GARE, 2018). She lives in the Bay Area and currently works at The Management Center as Partner on the content and communications team. Follow her on Twitter: @bannedlibrarian.
Jen Soriano (she/they) is an award-winning writer and movement strategist with more than two decades of experience working at the intersection of grassroots organizing, strategic communications, and art-driven social change.
Together with founding Executive Director Malkia Cyril and Amy Sonnie, Jen helped build the organization that became MediaJustice. She is co-founder and board chair of the narrative power-building institution ReFrame, and a co-creator of the Weathering the Storms crisis prevention and response program of RoadMap. As principal of Lionswrite Communications, Jen has strengthened the narrative capacity and impact of social justice groups from the local to international level. Years after the 2008 financial crisis, she worked with the Right to the City Alliance, the Center for Story-Based Strategy, Rainforest Action Network and other groups to help reignite national coverage of the ongoing foreclosure crisis and its impacts on families of color. Working with the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the We Belong Together campaign, Jen helped shift the 2013-2014 immigration narrative away from individual workers easy to isolate and criminalize, toward women and families who are part of transnational communities. Jen also helped ignite national climate debate led by indigenous voices and stories from the Global South while working with the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, and developed the integrated communications framework, which is a movement-based model of applying communications toward leadership development and power building rather than a marketing-based model of downstream promotions and PR.
Jen is also the author of the chapbook “Making the Tongue Dry” and the essay collection Nervous, forthcoming from Amistad/HarperCollins in August 2023.
Originally from a landlocked area of southwest Chicagoland, Jen now lives with her partner, human kid, and water dog on unceded Duwamish territory, Seattle, near the Salish Sea. She wants whatever you’re eating right now, and would love to connect on Instagram @jensorianowrites.
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