Linking Middle, High School, & College Students through Humanity Centered Media

submission by MDRShaunelle

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Media Done Responsibly c/o Pasadena Arts Council

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):


a project of Pasadena Arts Council's EMERGE Fiscal Sponsorship Program

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Media Done Responsibly is a media leadership program providing healthy media and lifestyle alternatives to teens by training them to be critical thinkers, decision makers, conscious consumers and creators of media in the Digital Age.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


The goal is to follow the progress of our teens throughout high school, into college, and into their careers, providing middle and high school students with college role models, and providing college students with internship opportunities and professional skill development.

Our proposal is to launch a 9-month Common Core aligned media education curriculum with local schools, giving their students an opportunity to work with our university media students to produce PSAs, short films, commercial

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics? (check all that apply)

Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index* scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.


MDR will make LA the best place to learn by providing teens with role models to help them navigate the media they consume daily, while making healthy decisions for their lives and creating media that better reflects their humanity. Each lesson of our curriculum is Common Core aligned. We also have an online digital portal for facilitators and a social networking site for our participants to engage. Although we do have facilitators lead each lesson/workshop, we place a strong emphasis on youth ideas and dialogue.In each lesson, we have multiple opportunities for youth check-in, and fishbowls and Socratic Seminar are central to the final lesson of each unit.

Our Media Done Responsibly campaign works to introduce youth to media that represents the full humanity of all cultures, and provides the tools to assess and vote on whether specific media content meets humanity-based standards to be labeled media done responsibly. This makes for a community-wide impact that can shape the direction of media content that is produced moving forward. Essentially, we use media literacy as a launching pad for both the development of youth as healthy, aware, and engaged citizens and as a tool to improve the media content and media career opportunities for upcoming generations.

The Media Done Responsibly curriculum follows a three-pillar approach: (1) Media Literacy, (2) Media Production, and (3) Media Justice Advocacy. It includes nine thematic units, each packed with several robust lessons, access to socially responsible media, youth-led events, and other varied media. The program introduces participants to college mentors who facilitate 50 minute, interactive, media awareness workshops for students in the program. The workshops stimulate student dialogue and critical thinking about social issues in media and supports positive citizenship by providing healthy alternatives to destructive behavior.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


MDR evaluates our work through surveys, professor feedback forms, along with mentor and student interviews.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

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During the Summer 2013 I was intrigued by the work that Media Done Responsibly was carrying out in the community so I decided to volunteer as part of my community service project for one of my Liberal Studies courses. Becoming a mentor/volunteer was an amazing opportunity that allowed me to work with youth and engaged in discussions regarding the negative media representations of underrepresented youth in urban Los Angeles. Myself and my MDR team invested a lot of hours working towards bringing social consciousness to our youth and to empower them to become critical media thinkers and consumers. Through the hands-on workshops and trainings put together by members of the organization, MDR made a difference in the lives of youth who without positive media education would continue to be manipulated by the massive media representation that continues to perpetuate violence by the rampant stereotypes subjecting individuals based on race, gender, and class. MDR serves as an exemplary organization in our community that is helping transform the lives of future leaders. Not only is MDR making a difference in the lives of youth but also in the lives of those who become part of it.

by nj2015
5 months ago

When I was Liberal Studies major at California State University, Los Angeles, I began as a mentor through Media Done Responsibly. I totally fell in love with this program because it exposed me to many social issues that young people in schools deal with. Our young people face social injustices such as racism, misogyny, violence (e.g. bullying, violence in dating relationships, etc.) When we teach students to become critical consumers of media, they open wide their hearts because they want to be heard. When they are able to see the issues behind the ads, music videos, music, video games, etc., they begin to think about what they see and hear on a daily basis. Some of the students we've taught have wanted us to come back so we can teach them again. On that note, Media Done Responsibly has made an impact on young people and continues to strive to do more now and in the near future.

by lalyne.lombardi
6 months ago

Hello everyone! I've been involved with Media Done Responsibly since 3 years ago when I was a freshman at Cal State LA. I've been a volunteer and an intern. At first, I joined MDR because I want extra credit for one of my classes, but once I was in the program I LOVED it and decided to come back and keep volunteering. I was trained about issues in the media such as discrimination, racism, sexism, colorism, etc., etc. But it was when I went out to high schools to give a presentation to students when I realized how powerful and influential I can be. Even though I wasn't comfortable talking in front of a classroom, I got confidence when I saw the reaction of the students when they realized they weren't critical thinkers of what they were watching on tv or listening to. They were all shocked that they were listening to music with degrading lyrics toward women and they hadn't even realized it because most of them were just listening to this music without paying attenttion to the lyrics. I explained to them how even though they didn't pay attention to the lyrics they were still being influenced by them and they agreed with me. This was my first presentation I did as a MDR volunteer and it was all it took for me to want to continue working with MDR. I realized there are lots of young people out there that are watching, listening, and imitating things they see on TV. Like some of the students mentioned during my presentation, sometimes they aren't aware or they don't realize about this, they just need someone who explains this to them and MDR does an excellent job. Also, while teaching about all the negative stereotypes of minority people (Latinos, African Americans, etc) being portrayed in the media, I have witnessed so many young students get inspired to stay in school, get a higher education, and follow their dreams to prove all this negative stereotypes wrong! This is what motivates me to keep working with MDR! I see a positive difference made every time we go out to do a presentation.

by irene25
6 months ago

This is such a wonderful program. I hope they win the grant money

by milele
5 months ago

You hit the nail right on the head, Lalyne! And you've been such an amazing part of this process. Thank you so much for all of the hours- and after hours- you put into making sure this is the best possible program for L.A. youth! You're AMAZING! :)

by MDRShaunelle
5 months ago

Thank you so much for your amazing contribution to our youth, Irene! I have seen you grow tremendously through this program. I've also seen the way you connect with our youth as a leader and with your peers as a trainer. You rock!

by MDRShaunelle
5 months ago

Thank you, Milele!

by MDRShaunelle
5 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015