One of our favorite things to do in the Pulitzer Center education department is to organize student media workshops inspired by Pulitzer Center reporting projects and mentored by the journalists themselves.
When young people examine a global issue and then get an opportunity to explore it at a community level by taking their own photos or making their own videos, their learning is so much deeper -- and as a bonus, they have amazing work they can show off at the end! You can see examples here and here.
But not all of these students in all of these communities have access to their own smartphones or cameras. And when that's the case, we want to be able to provide them with the equipment they need to make a powerful project. Thanks to a generous donation of several point-and-shoots by one of our partner schools in Virginia last year, we've gotten a good start, but still don't have a full class set available for loan to local students. That's where you can help!
On Thursday, June 4, 2015, we'll participate for the second year in Do More 24, a 24-hour online giving campaign for D.C. nonprofits, to help support our work in schools in the nation's capital. Here's the link to our donation page on the site: http://www.domore24.org/#npo/pulitzer-center-on-crisis-reporting
The Everyday Africa project–a photo-sharing initiative created by our grantees Austin Merrill and Peter DiCampo to combat traditional Western stereotypes of Africa–in particular has been a wonderful springboard for this kind of student participation.
We've run "Everyday" workshops in Chicago and D.C. schools, having students identify stereotypes of their own communities and take photos they feel challenge those stereotypes. Last fall we saw amazing work by D.C. fifth and sixth-graders at the Inspired Teaching School and high-schoolers at Ballou High School.
“My students picked up on the importance of ‘everyday’ imagery very quickly,” Ballou teacher Adam Reinhard wrote after his students experienced a two-part "Everyday" workshop, “because they are so accustomed to their neighborhood being presented in a negative light, and that is not the reality of their ‘everyday.’ They realize the power in making sure that people realize that their everyday lives are not a series of crises, but a string of very normal, and very special events.”
We encourage you to donate on June 4 if you can. We'll put the money we raise toward the purchase of simple but effective point-and-shoot cameras for students to use in our photography workshops. These cameras will probably run about $80-$90 apiece and will make a big difference in giving D.C.'s young people a powerful storytelling voice!