When I began to understand how and why media literacy information had been floating around universities (for decades) but not making its way to the people who needed to implement it into their daily lives, I recognized where I could potentially be useful on both sides.
Being a media literacy educator allows me to merge my background in the professional media industry with the kind of work my heart enjoys: working with students. I share more about my media career at aliciahaywood.com. The iSpeakMedia Foundation represents the synthesis that becomes my legacy.
iSpeakMedia is where I focus on THE FUTURE, which is how I refer to the young people in line to inherit and lead this world. I played a key role in launching Media Literacy Week here in the United States in 2015, while working with the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). I appreciate being recognized as a champion of media literacy, but I love it most when my influence on others, breeds more influence of others. When the people I teach, or just talk to, about media literacy (or healthy media habits) then start talking about it, and practicing it, with the people in their lives, I can feel positive change happening. And I always say I can't do enough fast enough. So I am deeply grateful for the phenomenal advisors I have helping me along this path.
Our MISSION here is to teach as many people as possible how to cultivate the skills and competencies necessary to take control of the media they allow into their everyday living, and the shaping of their identities in that process.
Our VISION is generations of autonomous humans who instinctively take charge of their relationship with media.
We would love to see media literacy education integrated into the curriculum of every school, and at every grade level, everywhere, as more leaders in educators understand that literacy today has a deeper definition than it had in past eras. Until then, we're doing everything we can to advance community media literacy education outside of traditional learning spaces.
UNDERSTANDING MEDIA LITERACY
To be clear, media literacy education is not about learning which media to like or reject. Media literacy is not about condemning the media, not about condemning media creators, and not about condemning media consumers.
We say that allegiance is only to the mastery of critical thinking skills. Media literacy is about getting honest about the impact we allow media to have on us on a daily basis--and asking A LOT of questions about how and why that happens. From there, we measure how we feel about that impact, and adjust in whatever ways we feel necessary. Our conversations about media literacy typically begin by gauging awareness of media's presence in and around our lives.