Youth Media Workshop

Empowering economically diverse African-American youth from public schools to make media and social change

two students sitting in front of radio microphone

Youth Media Workshop partners with public schools in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, to teach African-American youth how to make radio and television documentaries that link their generation, the hip-hop generation, to the civil rights and black power generations.

Students are taught by a multi-racial team of media professionals from the public broadcasting station WILL AM-FM-TV, scholars and journalism students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and local teachers and community leaders.

The Youth Media Workshop started in 2000 as a program of the Street Media Center, an indigenously inspired, youth development drop-in center developed by Dr. William Patterson, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who engages young people of Hip Hop generations to use media to make social change in their communities. The program is co-directed by Dr. Patterson and Kimberlie Kranich of WILL AM-FM-TV.

What Students Learn

Students in the Youth Media Workshop learn to:

  • conduct library research
  • interview their families, peers and community members
  • professionally edit audio and video into radio and TV programs
  • present their findings at public events and conferences
  • think analytically, problem solve and lead group discussions with their peers
  • contribute research to the field of youth media and community-based archiving.

The long-term goal of the workshop is for young people to understand the significance of their history in order to pass it on to future generations to build better communities, to build stronger points of self-esteem and stronger identities and to be agents for change in society and mass media.

Partners