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Civic Engagement in Diverse Latinx Communities

Learning From Social Justice Partnerships in Action

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Mari Castañeda and Joseph Krupczynski

Students, faculty, and community partners alike will find Civic Engagement in Diverse Latinx Communities: Learning From Social Justice Partnerships in Action accessible not only because it includes an array of examples regarding Latinx civic engagement, but it also demonstrates that personal experiences are powerful tools for the production of new knowledge. This book reveals an epistemology of social justice that aims to investigate and develop a new Latinx community-university praxis for how to engage with diverse communities in the twenty-first century.

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Section III: Expanding the Media and Cultural Power of Communities

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Section III Expanding the Media and Cultural Power of Communities 11. Media Literacy as Civic Engagement Jillian M. báez Media literacy is arguably one of the most important skills to master as a cit- izen in the 21st century. Media literacy is the ability to critically engage with media and involves four elements: accessing media, analyzing media content, evaluating the messages encoded in media and creating media (Aspen Insti- tute, 1993). In a media-saturated society, media literacy is a necessary skill, empowering individuals with a toolkit to not only decipher media images, but also facilitating advocacy for media policy issues which affect who owns and produce media along with the type of content that is created and how it is distributed. In addition, media literacy is a form of social justice for margin- alized communities who otherwise might not have formal spaces to critically engage with media. Furthermore, in emphasizing how media are produced and under what political and economic conditions, media literacy encour- ages civic engagement by encouraging consumers to view themselves as actors within the media production and regulation processes. In this reflective chapter, I consider media literacy as a form of civic engagement for Latina/o communities. Among media literacy scholars and practitioners, it is agreed that one of the potential outcomes of media liter- acy programs is increased civic engagement since one will become not only more critical of media messages, but also more aware of media policy (Hobbs, 1998a; Hobbs, 1998b; Kellner & Share, 2005). Media...

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