Youth are the future of our communities. How we educate them and help them to become good and productive citizens is critical as they grow to take their places as future voters, activists, and leaders. Their understanding of their identity in their communities is an important part of civic education. Many civic media projects work with youth towards these ends. See also <a href="/topics/education">education</a>.

Are open education resources essential to a future of technically-empowered citizens?

Ethan Zuckerman introduces Andrew Rens as "the sort of feral lawyer" he enjoys hanging out with, an intellectual property activist, legal scholar, lead legal counsel for Creative Commons South Africa, and involved in Africa Commons and Freedom to Innovate. If it has involved open source and fighting against intellectual property restrictions in an African context, he has been involved.

His work at the moment is focused on open educational resources, a compelling field, not just because it's incredibly important for people's education, but also because for people involved in the open copyright fight, it's one of the most winnable battles.

UROP position available with AAGO, "Mobile Media Diaries for Youth Citizen Journalists"

Are you an MIT undergrad with a coding background and interest in media? Check out this great opportunity with the AAGO project:

UROP Positions: MIT Center for Civic Media and the Comparative Media Studies Program
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. James Paradis

Project Title:
Aago: Mobile Media Diaries for Youth Citizen Journalists


Biko Baker talks Youth Voting and Organizing

We sat down for a Thursday Civic lunch with Biko Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters.

Like any good organizer, Biko begins with his Story of Self. He grew up in Milwaukee, WI, with a father who was a machinist and construction worker, and a mother who worked at the grocery store. He was a jock, and didn't grow into being an academic until his sophomore year at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He did his graduate work at UCLA in History, and labor. He became a researcher for the SEIU, but was also into hip hop, and got started as a party promoter on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, working with many of hip hop's biggest West Coast names, like Snoop Dogg and Xzibit. He and his fellow promoters were essentially organizing online, developing massive email and text lists and relationships without realizing this practice had a name. Biko also wrote for The Source, one of hip hop's top magazines.

"Music is My Hot Hot: A Logic Model Analysis of ZUMIX"


For a recent Civic Media Lunch, we welcomed the co-founder and radio coordinator from ZUMIX, Madeleine Steczynski and Elena Botkin-Levy. ZUMIX is a twenty-year-old East Boston-based nonprofit that builds community through music and the arts. Their core constituency is low-income youth -- picture a Boys and Girls Club filled with kids playing guitars and learning to use mixing boards...

As it happens, a week later, Sujata Singhal of the Harvard Graduate School of Education developed a logic model of ZUMIX for a GSE paper.

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Free City (Concluded)


The Free City project aims to design new technologies and methods to transform cities into places that are more engaging, sustainable, accessible and connected for all.

Civic Media Goes to London, Part One

Greetings from London! Matt, Dan, and I from the Center for Civic Media are in the UK this week for the Mozilla Festival on Media, Freedom, and the Web. Matt and I arrived in London on Wednesday to meet up with interesting people in the UK before the conference. Here's a quick run-down on our trip thus far.

In Cambridge, we spoke with Matt Williams, social enterprise coordinator for the UK Youth Climate Coalition. Matt was the programme manager for PowerShift UK in 2008. We talked about organising climate campaigns as well as models of action around adaptive responses to the human impact of climate change.

Developing Aago

Here's a quick summary of our progress on Aago, a mobile app for youth media creation and sharing. We are excited to start the fall term with new team members and engaged community partners!