Finding Words: A Media-Arts Storytelling Program for Young Immigrant Women
Media Action Media has created the Finding Words Project.
The mission of the project is to empower young, immigrant, and newcomer or first generation women by assisting them to produce their own media content and disseminate portrayals and narratives that are realistic and inspired by their lived experiences.
The project was developed to overcome young women’s barriers around media usage, specifically the fear and embarrassment that is tied to not knowing how to use these tools.
It is an opportunity for women to engage with others in their community and develop a sense of confidence in themselves and around their communication skills through storytelling, in a supportive and accessible environment that allows for increased communication and media literacy skills.
View the podcasts, videos, and other media made by these women at our blog, New Words New Voices.
How does it work?
In Phase 1 of the Finding Words project, MAM partnered with the Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre (RIWC). RIWC is a multilingual agency with more than 25 years of experience delivering settlement, language training and employment services for newcomers across the Greater Toronto area. On Tuesday evenings for 6 weeks starting in May 2012, a group of young women came together to have some snacks, tell stories, make media-art, chat and have fun.
Participants worked on writing, audio and photography pieces that featured stories about their experiences since immigrating to Canada. The content they created will be hosted on a blog that will be created in Phase 2 of the project. Their creative pieces and the blog will live on for other young women who come to Canada to read, watch, listen and look at.
In these sessions, women talked critically about how the media represents young immigrant, newcomer and racialized women and what this means for them and the stories they tell, write, film and photograph.
In Phase 2 of the Finding Words project, MAM is partnering with the Unison Health and Community Services : Pathways to Education program. The Pathways to Education program is a community-based program designed to reduce poverty and its effects by lowering the drop-out rate among high school youth from economically disadvantaged communities and increasing their participation in post-secondary programs. It provides local high school students with academic tutoring, group mentoring, student and parent advocacy and support, and scholarships for all students who complete high school and are accepted into post-secondary programs.
MAM is very excited about the opportunity to partner with Unison Health and Community Services to run Phase 2 of Finding Words, with both old and new participants, and in an entirely different format.
The program is based in Toronto and will run from Tuesday, August 7th to Thursday, August 9th, 2012 from 12:00-4:00 PM. It will be held at 10 Meadow Lane, Toronto. This is just north-east of the Lawrence West TTC station at Lawrence Avenue West and Avenue Road.