Digital Narratives of Immigrant Youth: Cultivating Mobile Activism and Mobile Journalism Skills

Digital Narratives of Immigrant Youth: Cultivating Mobile Activism and Mobile Journalism Skills

Regina Casale (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA) and Dominic Mentor (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8909-9.ch017

Abstract

This chapter focused on cultivating mobile activism mobile journalism with middle and high schoolers of a town in Long Island. The youth film production effort was in response to a hate crime. An immigrant was attacked and killed by a group of young males after a suspected spree of other attacks that same night. After the murderous incident, immigrant parent and students of the local schools feared for their lives. Working towards the goals, the organizers set out to teach students how to use mobile and computer technologies for filmmaking. Using themes of human rights, they also focused on responding to hate crimes and immigration issues. This chapter offers key discoveries and lessons. The short intensive program provided academic and workforce development skills as well as how to use computer technology for digitizing personal narratives. The program also offered informal academic purposes, along with observations, opportunities, and recommendations from the findings for other K-12 digital video filmmaking endeavors.
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Background

The summer media and human rights workshop was in response to a hate crime in 2008 when Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant was attacked and killed by a group of young males who were out “beaner hopping”. A derogatory term used to describe the despicable act of group attacks on people perceived as undocumented immigrants. After the murderous incident, the Southern Poverty Law Center released “Climate of Fear”, detailing other incidents of violence against Latino immigrants in the community over the last decade. The finding of this report triggered an investigation by the Department of Justice into the Suffolk County Police Department. Immigrant students of the local high schools feared for their lives and parents and teachers concerned for the safety of their children suggested that their children never walk alone and always walk in a group, to and from school.

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