OAKLAND, CA -- Forward Ever Media, LLC has officially announced the launch of the 2025 Game Changers Project – a national media fellowship created to reframe the images of African-American males. Sponsored by the Open Society Institute's Campaign for Black Male Achievement, the project seeks to highlight the many positive untold stories about black males in America that often get ignored by mainstream media.
"Close your eyes and think of a physician, judge, or family man. Chances are, the image in your mind's eye is not of a black man, and that's a betrayal of who we really are," says Cheo Tyehimba Taylor, Director of Forward Ever Media and the architect of the 2025 Game Changers Media Project. "This project seeks to correct media betrayals of black men in America."
During a two-month fellowship, "Game Changer" fellows will be compensated to produce a series of micro-documentaries about individuals and organizations working to "change the game" in their communities. Eleven fellows are selected from seven participating cities: Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Washington, DC, New York, and Oakland. The focus of the micro-documentaries will be education, employment, justice, health, and fatherhood.
Selected 2025 Game Changer Fellows will receive a stipend, digital media training, a video camera and equipment, and the opportunity to share their stories with an audience of millions. In November, through an exclusive partnership with theGrio.com – one of the fastest growing African-American-focused websites on the Internet – the 2025 Game Changer video series will be presented to new audiences.
"As a video-centric news site focused on telling stories that affect and reflect African-American experiences, theGrio.com is proud to partner with the 2025 Game Changers Project and is excited about surfacing many of these compelling videos on our platform," says David Wilson, Managing Editor of the theGrio.com, a division of NBC News. The videos may also be presented through other related NBC Universal platforms.
Launched at OSI in 2008, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement is "a multi-issue, cross-fund strategy to address black men and boys' exclusion from economic, social, educational, and political life in the United States." Recently, the campaign has been focused on integrating strategic communications that promote positive messages about black men and boys.
"A critical success lever for the Open Society Foundations' Campaign for Black Male Achievement is catalyzing a coordinated strategic communications framework that empowers black men and boys to be masters of their own media," says Shawn Dove, manager of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. "Investing in the innovative leadership of Cheo Tyehimba Taylorand the 2025 Campaign certainly helps us to realize this vision for success."
The project is also an extension of the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys, a national organization that supports advocacy, local community organizing, and public policy efforts to change outcomes for black men and boys. Raising awareness about these issues is key.
"We want to unearth the stories about the single fathers who are super heroes for their kids, crusading defense attorneys striking a balance in the justice system, a self-made entrepreneur contributing to society, or an advocate for mental and physical wellness," says Taylor. "These stories are everywhere the media is not looking."