Center for Media Justice home of the Media Action Grassroots Network

Knowledge Exchange 2009: Universal Broadband and Digital Inclusion

Sponsored by the Center for Media Justice, the Consumer’s Union and newly sponsored by the Media and Democracy Coalition, Knowledge Exchange, will bring together 20 grassroots media activists, national advocacy groups, academics, and beltway policy advocates to exchange ideas, deepen relationships, and develop best practices and collaborative strategies to advance a national plan for universal broadband access and deployment. Taking place in Washington, D.C., September 21-24, 2009, the convening will feature presentations on the broadband stimulus package, digital inclusion dialogues, discussions on race and related equity issues, a landscape of current legislation on broadband and the Internet, and more. Participants are movement leaders who will address movement challenges, and develop winning strategies for media policy change from the grassroots to the beltway!

History of the Knowledge Exchange
The Knowledge Exchange is a model for bringing together sector leaders to share best practices and methods, evaluate strategic opportunities and challenges, and develop collaborative projects and actions. The Knowledge Exchange model uses the methodology of facilitated retreat, fishbowl-style presentations by participants, relevant and timely background readings, community/ally meetings, and delegation visits or other forms of collaborative advocacy to strengthen relationships and strategic coordination within and across sector lines.

In addition to strengthened and new relationships, concrete outcomes from past exchanges have included the Media Action Grassroots Networtk (MAG-Net) campaign for a socially responsible DTV transition, the partnership between MAG-Net and Consumers Union to conduct local retailer actions demanding a no-cost DTV converter box, the partnership between MAG-Net and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights to conduct four DTV assistance centers, the Media and Democracy Coalition Broadband Policy paper, and the Rural White Spaces Campaign.

Intended Outcomes of the Project
• Accountability and decision-making structures, processes, and principles that can be used by field and beltway advocates to ensure trust, efficiency, and a high level of effective collaboration.
• Coordinated federal, state and local advocacy goals for prioritized media policy issues, with clear implementation plans developed.
• Best practices, lessons learned, and effective strategies in both beltway and regional advocacy exchanged and shared with the field.
• Strategies to amplify communications and cultural rights, as well as related equity and access issues, highlighted and shared with the field

Knowledge Exchange 2009 Participants

Grassroots Advocates

• Bryan Mercer, Media Mobilizing Project, Pennsylvania

• Andrea Quijada, New Mexico Media Literacy Project, New Mexico

• Eloise Rose-Lee, Media Alliance, California

• Steven Renderos, Main Street Project, Minnesota

• Kristofer Rios, People’s Production House, New York

• Antoine Haywood, People TV and Alliance for Community Media, Georgia

Beltway Advocates

• Parul Desai, Media Access Project

• Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge

• Ben Scott, Free Press

• Joe Torres, Free Press

• Craig Aaron, Free Press

• Amina Fazullah, US PIRG

• Dan Meredith, New America Foundation

• Chance Williams, Media and Democracy Coalition

National Advocates

• Amalia Deloney, Media Action Grassroots Network

• Edyael Casaperalta, Center for Rural Strategies

The Knowledge Exchange is a project of the Center for Media Justice and the Consumer’s Union, with guest conveners based on issue focus.

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