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The Media Justice Leadership Institute and Policy Advocacy Day: Building and Strengthening the Movement for Media Justice

On December 10, 2009, the Center for Media Justice—and its signature project, the Media Action Grassroots Network—brought together nearly 20 media justice advocates for our first National Policy Advocacy Day. Collectively, our contingent represented eight regions across the country and 14 different community-based organizations working at the intersections of social and economic justice and media policy.

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Civil Rights, Self-Representation, and the Fight for Open and Neutral Online Networks

Two weeks ago, the Center for Media Justice brought together a coalition of national media groups working on racial justice issues including the Media Action Grassroots Network, Color of Change, the Media Democracy Coalition, Presente.org, Unity Journalists of Color, the National Hispanic Journalists Association, Center of Community Change, and with tremendous support from Joe Torres of Free Press, to meet with DC beltway civil rights groups One Economy, the Urban League, and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) –all members of the Broadband Opportunity Coalition- to discuss the issue of open and neutral online networks and the network neutrality rules being considered by Congress right now.

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Our Voice in Our Language

Guest Blog: Steven Renderos is the Media Justice Organizer for Main Street Project. Starve for what they never provide, Make me wonder how we ever survive My hero's not yours, you probably arrested Your schools probably neglected them, they small thoughts you probably infected them, Feed us what you feed us you can lay us next to them. Ya feel me? Whether it's a song, a poem, a letter or even simply a conversation, there are moments of immense lyrical power that speak to our experiences in direct ways. They're articulated in a way that makes it seem like there's no other way of saying the same thing.

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The Internet Must Not Become a Segregated Online Community

By Malkia Cyril, Chris Rabb, and Joseph Torres When Fox News’ Glenn Beck called President Barack Obama a racist this past July, the online advocacy group ColorOfChange.org launched a campaign to convince advertisers to boycott the show. To date, some 285,000 people have joined the effort, and more than 80 companies have pulled their ads.

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On Message: Using Strategic Communications to Advance Social Change in Black and Latino Communities

In cities and towns across the country, relationships between Blacks and Latinos have been fraught with fear, suspicion, and racism—but also nurtured by camaraderie, shared experiences, and mutual struggles. While the media, talk radio, and political commentators often take the opportunity to highlight and expose the divisions between Blacks and Latinos in the United States, they seldom give ample air time and ink to our mutual interests, projects, and joint efforts. This publication highlights the efforts involving Black- and Latino-serving nonprofit organizations that utilize strategic communications in their work, outlining common challenges and showcasing promising practices.

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One Size Does Not Fit All: A Slippery Slope to Increased Juvenile Incarceration

A recent incident in Omaha, Nebraska brings urgency to an issue soon to be debated in Congress regarding the handling of youth offenders by juvenile and criminal justice systems. In this case, police shot a 15-year-old boy in the chest following a traffic stop. Investigators said the boy shot at police first. The case has led one local senator to call for an overhaul of Nebraska's juvenile justice system that would identify "aggressive juvenile offenders." This is a dangerous reaction to a singular incident. But it is not uncommon. Politicians often legislate by anecdote. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

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FCC ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules Would Keep the Web Free for Speech and Trade.

Guest Blog: Andrew Jay Schwartzman is president and CEO of the Media Access Project. This Op-Ed originally appeared in the online version of US News and World Report on November 24, 2009. To understand the debate over network neutrality on the Internet, it is useful to start with the adage "To not act is to act."