After School Matters, Free Spirit Media, and Umoja Youth Builders

Workshop with After School Matters, Free Spirit Media, and Umoja Youth Builders, July 25th-26th, Chicago, IL: 2012

After 100-plus degree weather in D.C., the YaM team had no problem braving the notorious midsummer Chicago heat. Much to the contrary: after another few weeks of extensive brainstorming, internal testing, and iterating at the Berkman Klein Center, the team was psyched to be able to test out our Perspective module with youth audiences. By collaborating with Chicago-based After School Matters, one of Chicago’s largest providers of innovative out-of-school youth activities, YaM also got to work with youth from a couple of its community partners, Free Spirit Media (FSM) and the Umoja Community Builders program, part of the Umoja Student Development Corporation. Both FSM and Umoja engage youth in media production projects while concurrently exploring particular community issues ways to use their media alongside other forms of advocacy. (During Summer 2012, FSM’s youth took a look at the DREAM Act and the problem of uninsured Chicago youth, among others; Umoja’s investigated different aspects of “school culture”). For these young documentarians, activists, and advocates, it was only fitting to test the module Perspective, which explores how having empathy and working to understand others’ perspectives can help make a change.