Media Action Média completes the Finding Words program to empower young women through media literacy

Ottawa, ON – 6 November 2012 – Media Action Média (MAM) is pleased to announce the completion of this year’s new media-arts and storytelling program, Finding Words. The Finding Words program empowers young, racialized newcomer and immigrant women by training them to produce media content with realistic portrayals and narratives, inspired by their own experiences. “We are immensely proud of this project. It was created specifically to help young women develop media literacy, engage with their communities and develop confidence in their communication skills through storytelling in a supportive and accessible environment,” MAM President Amanda Parriag said.

MAM partnered with Toronto’s Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre and Unison Health and Community Services to run the project.

Each weekly Finding Words workshops included critical discussions on how media represents young, racialized and newcomer women, how media representations affect their understandings of themselves and the stories they tell.

Participants shared funny and inspiring personal stories on an array of topics including female role models, favourite foods and places, tips for new Canadians and what Canada means for them. These stories were then expressed through digital storytelling/audio recording clips, podcasts and other media.

“The young women who participated in this program walked away empowered and so confident in their ability to create and share their own stories through different communications tools,” Finding Words project coordinator Toni Francis said.

“Not only was this an incredible media literacy and capacity-building project, but also an opportunity for young women to get together in safe spaces to tell stories, make new friends, eat and have fun!”

To see the final products of the Finding Words workshops or for more information on the project, visit

About Media Action Média
MAM envisions a media environment that respects and reflects people in all their diversity, celebrates their capacity and contribution and nurtures, rather than erodes, their self-esteem and opportunities.

For media inquiries or sponsorship and partnership opportunities: Amanda Parriag (

Women in View on Screen

At the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival this fall, Rina Fraticelli, Executive Director of Women in View, shared the results of an inaugural annual report called Women in View on Screen. This report examines the representation of women in the roles of director and screenwriter in 130 Canadian feature films funded through Telefilm Canada and released in 2010 and 2011.

The report reveals that only 17 per cent of the 130 films released in 2010/2011 were directed by women; and a mere 21 per cent had female screenwriters. The results for visible minority and First Nations women were much worse, with only one director and two screenwriters. Women in View chose to focus on directing and screenwriting in their inaugural report because of the impact of these positions play in shaping the final film story, and the employment of others on the film production crew.


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