This presentation will address how various participatory practices for media production can be used to engage college students in dialogue and reflection about issues of diversity and inclusion on their university campus. I focus on a student-produced video project titled ‘Telling Our Stories,’ which documents the experiences that University of Washington - Tacoma students have with regards to one or various aspects of their identity, whether related to race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, disability, place of origin, etc. The goal of this project was to understand how student’s identity, and overall way of seeing the world, affect their college experience, whether in the classroom or across other spaces on their campus. This project is especially significant to this community of students since they are part of a campus where 51% of the study body are identified as students of color or belonging to a traditional marginalized community.
This presentation will highlight different strategies for integrating a critical race conceptual framework with practices of media production. More specifically, I will discuss how we framed the video stories as counter-narratives that challenge the dominant institutional narratives about student life as a homogenous one. This project not only complicates the ways college students’ experiences are represented, but the participatory practices of producing this work gave students a space through which to be heard and seen by the larger college community.
This presentation helps raise important questions about inclusivity, representation and voice that illuminate the IAMCR 2020 conference theme, including thinking about how in the process of producing media content marginalized communities make themselves visible and encourage critical reflections about equity and diversity in their local communities. What’s more, it stands as an example of how as academics/teachers we can implement inclusive pedagogies in media production in a way that engages students in conversation about diversity and difference.