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GlobalGirl Media

Program Summary

GlobalGirl Media (GGM) develops the authentic voice and media literacy of teenage girls in under-served communities by teaching them to create and share digital journalism designed to ignite civic activism and social change. By linking young women internationally with seasoned reporters, educators and mediamakers, GGM empowers girls to make media that matters, improves media literacy, and encourages the promotion of healthier media messages about girls and women. Currently we have projects in Chicago, Los Angeles, South Africa, and Morocco and are expanding to other countries. To date we have trained 120 GlobalGirl Media Reporters worldwide.

GGM’s model is unique in that it connects girls through digital media, creating a peer-to-peer global online network of girls learning to challenge, innovate and reshape their worlds. We stress new media over traditional news media, for example, leveraging broadband delivery (youtube channels), social media, apps and games to build community, raise awareness about gender imbalance in media, and critically assess existing news media. Our Project: Connect proposal is to help fund our Chicago and Los Angeles summer training academies planned for the month of July, 2013.


Even with the explosion of online learning networks and new media formats, marginalized youth, particularly young women of color, continue to be under-represented and disconnected – creating a “digital divide.” GGM believes young women need to be creating their own media rather than consuming it. We cultivate an informed and empowered citizenry by elevating the female voice. We train girls in citizen journalism, integrating girl’s digital literacy, self-esteem, and basic women’s/human rights discussions that effectively contributes to an overall shift in how girls perceive themselves and their role in news media. Our training encourages collaboration and connected learning. We schedule regular skype calls, twitter parties and Facebook interactions with our GlobalGirl reporters in South Africa and Morocco, helping them draw parallels in their work, encouraging each other and sharing opinions. Girls cite this connection with GlobalGirls in other countries as the most exciting part of their training, introducing them to new avenues of expression and opportunities to learn, grow and develop a global perspective on the news. We also train on how to create an online presence that is safe, respectful and equitable for girls.

We partner with high schools, non-profits, and community organizations to identify 20 girls, who then participate in our rigorous, three-week new media/journalism training, “The GGM Summer Training Academy.” We are in our third year of training in Los Angeles and South Africa and our second year in Chicago and Morocco, so we already have an extensive network to build on. This proposal is to fund our Chicago training, hosted at DePaul University in Chicago, from July 8-28th, 2013. We work with groups of advisors, mentors and educators to help us source the girls, enhance our curriculum and provide infrastructure and sustainability after the training ends.

Our curriculum combines new media journalism, HD video production, web 2.0 basics, blogging, cell phone reporting and social media. The girls work in production teams and select their own subject matter which focuses on valuing their voice. General subjects they report on include: women and civic engagement/political leadership, violence against women, sexual and reproductive rights, education and careers, body image and the media, bullying and cyber relationships, arts, sports, and culture. Each girl launches their own blog, and each team produces 1-2 web videos (a total of 8-10 videos produced per Academy). Guest lectures by top women professionals in media are incorporated into the curriculum, including bloggers, hackers, coders, as well as traditional print, radio and broadcast journalists. The training also includes field trips to local newspapers, radio and television stations, maker/hacker spaces, online media hubs, youtube studios, etc.

Graduates of our 4-week intensive summer training program go on to become “GlobalGirl Reporters,” meeting once a week as a localized, community-based news bureau. This bureau will be housed at After School Matters, a leading Chicago out-of-school activities network that supports arts and alternative learning. Through our advisory board and mentorship program, many of our reporters have secured jobs, internships, and full scholarships to universities where they continue their media studies.

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