While the United States may have a president of color, many African-American males are still challenged by many decades of what is perceived as negative media images of Black men. However in an effort to combat this concern, a national digital storytelling and media fellowship entitled the 2025 Game Changers Project has been launched. Sponsored by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, from Open Society Institute (OSI), the project seeks to highlight the many positive untold stories about black males in America that often get ignored by mainstream media.
The brainchild of the program's executive producer Cheo Tyehimba Taylor, the program decided to create its name and mission based on a reference during a gathering of concerned men where the question was asked, "A black boy born in 2007 will be 18 years old by the year 2025 -- what can we do to change his life and the future generation?” Answering the call, the organization decided to focus on actually predominant images of the Black male impact his life given the undeniable force of both traditional and digital media today. The organization believes that media bias is a historic continuum that is an assault on both the humanity and of the human potential of males of African descent. When seemingly one-dimensional depictions are considered representative of everyday black male realities, all of society is damaged.
"There is not a systematic infrastructure in this country that supports black males to compensate for all of the deficits they encounter. Poor schooling leads to unemployment, a bias judicial system leads to unemployment and also not having family structure where they can rely on a legacy of support? The family structure also makes it challenging for Black Males to thrive?" asks Mr. Taylor. "At the same time they are (Black males) resilient, despite all the negative factors they face they make it happen, if the stats are about 40% unemployment what’s the percentage of Black Males that get up and look for work every day, those numbers need to be highlighted. So the 2025 Game Changers Fellowship has been created to empower more Black males to create their own images. "
Awardees will be provided with digital media training, a video camera and equipment, and the opportunity to share their stories with an audience of millions. Fellows will be chosen from Chicago, New Orleans, and Washington, DC, New York, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Oakland. Through an exclusive partnership with theGrio.com – one of the fastest growing African American-focused Web sites on the Internet – the 2025 Game Changer video will be presented to new audiences. The fellows must produce a video from at least one of these categories:
"The overall future of the American economy really relies on lifting up the least of us, if Black Males are amongst that group if we support their efforts everyone gains from that," states Taylor.
Learn more about the 2025 Game Changers Project via the Internet: www.2025bmb.org/thegame <http://www.2025bmb.org/thegame>
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