LatinaLista -- Media, whether it's print, online or broadcast, is a powerful medium that empowers anyone who uses it. Amie Williams knew that. She also knew that there existed young poor girls the world over who, because of their circumstances, were being left behind when it came to social media and getting their perspectives represented accurately in mainstream media.
As a result, Williams created Global Girl Media (GGM):
Global Girl Media serves 12-18 year old girls in countries and communities affected by war, disease and poverty who for many reasons have been unable to take part in the new media revolution.
While the Internet, online social networking, and user-generated video content have exploded, the perspectives of many poor girls the world over remain marginalized and their voices are often silent.
Launching initiatives that span two continents, GGM's pilot project, called KICK IT UP!, is based in Soweto, South Africa where 20 girls will be trained in media and how to report on the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
At the same time, in Los Angeles, California, GGM has just launched the sister project to KICK IT UP! called the Global Girl Media Academy.
Girls have been selected from public high schools in East Los Angeles and South Central Los Angeles as well as community colleges. They will be trained in journalism with an intensive curriculum adapted from the curriculum of the World Press Institute's global journalism training program for under-served women.
Graduates of the Global Girl Media Academy will also be reporting on FIFA, but from the Los Angeles bureau. All the girls will begin turning out professional content by June 11, the start of the games.
Yet, the girls' media training isn't just for FIFA.
Ultimately, the plan is to have Global Girl News Bureaus all over the United States and the rest of the world -- creating a sustainable and growing network of young female citizen journalists. Video made by the girls will be distributed to educators and onto television, cable, other websites, and on new-media platforms.
Williams, and GGM's U.S. National Program Director, Kamala Lopez, know that the media skills these girls learn have the potential to not only change their lives, but change their communities as well.
Williams was able to get the Nike Foundation to support the South African portion of the project but so far there's no substantial financial support for the Global Girl Media Academy.
Though the training has already begun, there is a great need for donations for cameras, microphones, an editing system, transportation, meals and staff. Donations are tax deductible.
Global Girl Media can prepare the next generation of media makers to make quality media that matters, and reach young women who would not otherwise have access to these technologies.
We want to foster confidence and self-esteem among participants so they can make a difference and contribute to change around the world. By reaching young women all over the world through television stations, news bureaus, web portals, media feeds and other outlets including high school and university classrooms our impact can be both local and global.