April 2014 e-news: The Media is the Message

Published on April 24, 2014 | Written by


April’s edition of Youthprise’s monthly e-news is all about the media. Lately we’ve been thinking about media a lot at Youthprise. Since January we have been working with Allied Media Projects and Detroit Future Youth in Detroit to co-coordinate a track at the Allied Media Conference called “Youth Media & Movements”. You can learn more about our work with AMC here.  One of the most exciting things about this project is that AMC recognizes “media” as any way people communicate with the world.

In addition to our work with the Allied Media Conference, our Research Manager, David Kim, began his work at Youthprise engaging in critical research about how the media impacts the lives of young people. Since then David has led Youthprise’s research team in centering their work around Research Justice, and uses Youth Participatory Action Research as a main strategy for engaging youth as researchers.

Youthprise already uses social media to connect with communities online, in Minnesota and nationally. We have begun strategic planning on engaging young people in social media, and are exploring ways to use social media as a way to build our young research justice community.

As you can see, media impacts much of our work. So instead of describing how we interact with various media, we decided to show you!  This month’s e-news features our staff and Youth Innovators with media that have impacted their lives. From books to records, they share their personal experiences with the media!


Bianca Dawkins

Daily Quote App

Bianca is reading her Daily Quote app on her iPhone. This app provides an inspirational quote daily, and it provides daily motivation for her to bring to her work at Youthprise as Policy and Outreach Innovator, and to her new role as Executive Director of Project H.O.P.E. These quotes, which vary every day, offer insight in how to deal with the obstacles that Bianca faces.


Andrew Rahme

Frank Ocean’s Coming out Letter

Andrew explained, “Frank Ocean wrote a coming out letter in December of 2012.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read, and I have been reading it over and over for four months straight.  To me it’s a lot more than just a coming out letter. It’s a piece of art he shared for the world showing his humanity, his beauty, his despairs, and the complications of his life.  This beautiful piece of media is a daily reminder that we are all intentional creations.”


Neese Parker

Her Pencil – Drawing

Neese described her interest in drawing, “They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I disagree. A picture is worth so much more than that. Drawing as a form of communication within media is vital. Mostly because we are able to interpret in so many way to where any picture can relate to all people. We are able to voice our beliefs through the eyes. Visualization of an emotion is much more easier to comprehend than using words to explain it. I enjoy drawing because the art will be attractive to most, mysterious to some, and unrelatable to few.”


Wokie Weah


You might have noticed a new player in the Twitter game. Wokie uses Twitter to share the important work that she does with Youthprise and the many achievements of our partners, grantees and community members. But Wokie’s tweeting is not limited to work. Her tweets range from comments about the Vikings to her weekly #TweetableProverb where she relates the wise words from different cultures to the work that Youthprise does. Intrigued? Follow her @wokieweah!


Marcus Pope

Research Reports

As a leader in research and evaluation, Marcus sees the importance of nuanced research reports. A key strategy that Youthprise utilizes when it comes to research is engaging young people – not only as participants, but as researchers themselves. Marcus works alongside the Youth Research Team to use community engagement principles and YPAR as a strategy for conducting meaningful research that helps to move the needle on important issues impacting youth.


Karen Kingsley

The Best American Infographics 2013

Karen is reading The Best American Infographics 2013. This collection of infographics features an introduction by David Bryne – yes, that David Byrne. As the Director of Public Policy and Communications, Karen is always thinking of innovative ways to communicate the work that Youthprise does with the world. Infographics, in particular, offer creative ways to share data and numbers, in accessible, youth-friendly ways. Karen also may or may not be a Talking Heads fan.


Liz Brekke

Her Camera – Photography

This is a photo of Liz with her camera at the Ice Caves in the Apostle Islands National Park in Wisconsin. Liz loves photography, mostly nature photography.  She spends entire days on trips just photographing native flora, fauna and anything amazing. That’s the beauty of art in any form – it makes you stop, appreciate, and really consider the subject.

Photo on 4-24-14 at 8.46 AM

Lizzy Shramko

Fun Home

Lizzy loves stories. As Youthprise’s Storyteller and Online Community Builder she thinks about the ways that she can infuse stories into Youthprise’s communications. Whether it is blog posts, tweets or e-news (like this!) Lizzy sees the importance of sharing the diverse range of stories from Youthprise, our partners and our communities. She is reading Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, a graphic memoir that uses illustrations as a powerful way to share her story.


David Kim


“Horatio” is our staff-co-created speaking object that we use in our monthly Circle—a form of communication and fellowship central for many Indigenous Peoples—where we share stories, affirmations and struggles. Media are not new; they are far older than digital or print. I often feel that for our well being, we should reclaim the oral, aural, and spiritual traditions of media that seem to be slipping away as we absorb the constant barrage of “new media” today.


Claire Dunlap

MPR News & The Current

Claire is the newest edition to our staff. As Executive Assistant she already has a lot of work to juggle! Claire enjoys listening to MPR News at work to stay informed and to learn about the latest news in Minnesota. She also likes to add some music to her work day with The Current’s selection of local and indie artists. Check out those headphones – she must get some great sound with those!


Libby Rau


When other staff members need expert facilitation for their meetings, Libby is a go-to person. She is trained in design thinking and has a knack for hands-on learning. As the Director of Youth Engagement she has learned from the young people she has worked with that working with your hands is one of the best ways to learn. Libby is also interested in the arts, so the brighter the post-it, the better!


Rudy Guglielmo, Jr.


Rudy spends a lot of his time thinking about the implications of demographic shifts in the country and in Minnesota in particular. Rudy also enjoys art, and spends much of his free time outside of Youthprise visiting museums, galleries and taking in the diverse artistic landscape of Minnesota. Infographics take demographic shifts and communicate them in artistic and visually compelling ways.


Sheila Gothmann


Sheila likes to stay up to date on what is happening across the country. She also enjoys curling up on the couch and taking in the news in print. Her favorite newspaper is The New York Times which she subscribes to. One of her favorite things about reading news in print is that she can clip articles and share them with her friends and colleagues.


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