2015 Grants Challenge

Linking Middle High School & College Students through Humanity Centered Media

The goal is to follow the progress of our teens throughout high school, into college, and into their careers, providing middle and high school students with college role models, and providing college students with internship opportunities and professional skill development. Our proposal is to launch a 9-month Common Core aligned media education curriculum with local schools, giving their students an opportunity to work with our university media students to produce PSAs, short films, commercial


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles


How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or a program

How will your proposal improve the following LEARN metrics?​

Percent of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index* scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher ed

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to LEARN.

MDR will make LA the best place to learn by providing teens with role models to help them navigate the media they consume daily, while making healthy decisions for their lives and creating media that better reflects their humanity. Each lesson of our curriculum is Common Core aligned. We also have an online digital portal for facilitators and a social networking site for our participants to engage. Although we do have facilitators lead each lesson/workshop, we place a strong emphasis on youth ideas and dialogue.In each lesson, we have multiple opportunities for youth check-in, and fishbowls and Socratic Seminar are central to the final lesson of each unit.

Our Media Done Responsibly campaign works to introduce youth to media that represents the full humanity of all cultures, and provides the tools to assess and vote on whether specific media content meets humanity-based standards to be labeled media done responsibly. This makes for a community-wide impact that can shape the direction of media content that is produced moving forward. Essentially, we use media literacy as a launching pad for both the development of youth as healthy, aware, and engaged citizens and as a tool to improve the media content and media career opportunities for upcoming generations.


The Media Done Responsibly curriculum follows a three-pillar approach: (1) Media Literacy, (2) Media Production, and (3) Media Justice Advocacy. It includes nine thematic units, each packed with several robust lessons, access to socially responsible media, youth-led events, and other varied media. The program introduces participants to college mentors who facilitate 50 minute, interactive, media awareness workshops for students in the program. The workshops stimulate student dialogue and critical thinking about social issues in media and supports positive citizenship by providing healthy alternatives to destructive behavior.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

MDR evaluates our work through surveys, professor feedback forms, along with mentor and student interviews.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research