UNCF Hosts Digital Media Forum At Johnson C. Smith University
Minorities Explore New Digital Media, Social Networking Tools and Digital Media Research
FAIRFAX, Va. Digital technology—cell phones, digital video, iPods, Facebook, MySpace, Second Life and more—is reshaping the way that young people live and the way they learn, and UNCF (the United Negro College Fund), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, is hosting a conference at UNCF member school Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in Charlotte, North Carolina, to look into what these new technologies mean for young people of color and the colleges they attend. The conference, entitled “Opportunities and Issues for Engagement in Digital Culture,” is part of the UNCF Digital Media and Learning Public Forum series and will take place 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon, Thursday, April 8, 2010 in the Mary Joyce Taylor Crisp Student Union of Grimes Hall on the JCSU campus.
The UNCF Digital Media and Learning Public Forum series is sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to provide opportunities for students, educators, and experts in digital technology to discuss how youth, especially youth of color, use new digital media and social networking tools, and to spark interest among faculty and students at HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions in conducting digital media research. The forum at Johnson C. Smith, the third forum of the series at UNCF member-HBCUs, will focus on the opportunities and challenges faced by young people and educators living in increasingly free-flowing digital cultures. The presenters will share their research and applications of digital media in higher education, public school and community settings. Their discussion will focus on issues such as media literacy, identity, privacy and appropriate online behavior as well as the barriers to learning sometimes created by institutional policies meant to circumscribe the use of digital media by youth.
The featured speaker for the UNCF forum will be Dr. Jabari Mahiri of the University of California Berkeley's Graduate School of Education and Chair of its Language and Literacy, Society and Culture area. Mahiri is also a MacArthur Foundation grantee, Senior Scholar for the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education and the Principal Investigator of TEACH (Technology Equity And Culture in High Schools), a research initiative that collaborates with urban school and community partners on educational equity and academic achievement as well as digitally-mediated literacy and learning in and beyond schools. He is author ofseveral books,including Shooting for Excellence: African American and Youth Culture in New Century Schools (1998), and Digital Tools in Urban Schools: Mediating a Remix of Learning (2010).
Forum panelists will include Rik Panganiban, Assistant Director of the Online Leadership Program at Global Kids, Inc., and Dr. Hang Chen, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Johnson C. Smith. Global Kids, Inc. is a MacArthur Foundation-supported non-profit organization that educates and inspires urban youth to become successful students, global citizens and community leaders by engaging them in academically rigorous, socially dynamic, content-rich learning experiences. Dr. Chen’s current work centers on encouraging innovation in gaming and animation. Alafia Clyburn, a Johnson C. Smith senior majoring in Computer Science & Information Systems, will also be a panelist.
After the forum, from noon until 12:30 p.m., the Johnson C. Smith University Digital Orchestra will perform during lunch in the JCSU Student Union under the direction of Dr. Christopher Weise, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Music Business Program at Johnson C. Smith. Dr. Weise also will present a summary of his research on digital media and music during this time.
After lunch, from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m., Johnson C. Smith University and the Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange will host “Careers in Technology.” Presenters from IBM, Microsoft and Cisco Systems will be featured.
The forum at Johnson C. Smith is expected to attract an audience of nearly 200 people, including college and university students and faculty, public school teachers and administrators, afterschool program directors, and other community stakeholders—including individuals affiliated with technology organizations. To watch a live stream of the forum at Johnson C. Smith on April 8th,go to www.uncf.org.
The UNCF Digital Media and Learning in Multicultural Contexts Public Forum Series marks the beginning of the organization’s participation in the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, an international center to nurture exploration of and build evidence around the impact of digital media on young people’s learning. The Research Hub, created with support from the MacArthur Foundation, is headquartered at the University of California Irvine and provides an infrastructure for research, communication and collaborative work around core research themes emerging from the MacArthur digital media and learning initiative.
For more information on the UNCF public forum series, contact Dr. Clarissa Myrick-Harris, director of the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building’s Curriculum and Faculty Enhancement Program, at 404-302-8607 ext. 8525 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UNCF Institute for Capacity Building (ICB) was established in May 2006 to support strengthening the capacity of the 39 UNCF member private historically black colleges and universities in the areas of fundraising, enrollment and retention, academic programming and faculty development, financial management, campus facilities and executive leadership and governance.
UNCF—the United Negro College Fund—is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 39 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 18 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at www.UNCF.org
About the MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. In 2006, MacArthur launched its digital media and learning initiative to explore how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life and what that means for their learning in the 21st century. More information is available at www.macfound.org/education.