Submitted by Henry
on March 2, 2009 - 7:21am
One of the most powerful sessions of my class on New Media Literacies and Civic Engagement last fall came as a result of a visit from Dayna Cunningham from MIT's Community Innovators Lab shortly after the 2008 election. Cunningham challenged me and my students to think about whether new media tools and platforms might help address the erosion of the black public sphere. She argued that the structures that had sustained the black community during the Civil Rights era were collapsing without the emergence of new structures that would provide the basis for strong critiques of the operations of power and that might be used to hold Obama accountable to his own community. And she asked those of us who were trying to build tools or curriculum to support democratic citizenship to factor these concerns into our design and planning process.