Building peace in the minds of men and women

Members of Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy to meet in Chicago

23 June 2017

Media and information literacy has never been more indispensable than ever, in today’s information and media climate plagued by misinformation, propaganda, false news, sensationalism and distortions named as “alternate facts”. The North American (NA) Sub-Chapter of the UNESCO-initiated Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) has restated this.

Launched in September 2016, NA Sub-Chapter will meet on 26 June 2017 in Chicago. A main objective of the (NA) Sub-Chapter meeting is to establish a Steering Committee and Working groups.

“We hope to attract more people to GAPMIL so that more understanding and commitment may be gained for GAPMIL goals, to fulfill the Charter that NA GAPMIL is undertaking.  We are action-oriented and want people to have a way to connect, to get involved and to contribute nationally and globally”, said Ms. Tessa Jolls, Director of US-based Center for Media Literacy and North America Sub-Chapter Co-Chair from the U.S. who will lead the meeting.

She noted that it is important to reach across national borders to solidify the foundations for media and information literacy as a global movement, a development intervention and a pedagogy.  GAPMIL network is invaluable including to replicate, measure, and scale media and information literacy.

Learn from each other’s successes

“Working coalitions that draw together resources and energy productively from individuals and organizations enable more and better work. Rather than everybody working on their own, and repeating each other’s mistakes, we work together and we learn from one another’s successes” highlighted Mr. Michael Hoechsmann, Professor at Lakehead University and NA Sub-Chapter Co-Chair from Canada. The upcoming meeting will focus on the formation of four working groups: Advocacy/Policy Development, Research/Policy Development, Outreach/UNESCO Liaison Working Group and the Steering Committee. Find more information about the Agenda and the Working Groups HERE.

North American perspective in global conversation

“Without the competencies connected to an expanded definition of literacy, people will be significantly disadvantaged and disempowered in the digital age. Better-informed citizens can participate more fully in the democratic processes of their countries, and with this group we’re looking forward to helping bring the North American perspective to the global conversation” said Ms. Carolyn Wilson, chair of GAPMIL International Steering Committee and Instructor and Program Officer at Faculty of Education, Western University, Canada.  

The GAPMIL NA Sub-Chapter was launched in September 2016 and the meeting resulted in London Declaration. Since than, a Facebook page was initiated in order to start communication and expansion towards people who are interested into MIL.  The NA Sub-Chapter also identified top priorities for their work, within policy development, professional networking, funding, teacher’s education and strategic partnerships.

Working groups will focus on these priorities, and jointly with the the Steering Committee provide for the administrative structure. As well, the Sub-Chapter will represent the interests of the group and provide coordination and oversight to ensure that UNESCO and GAPMIL NA mandates are aligned, say the organizers.  It will also enable them to establish stronger liaisons with the European Sub-Chapter that NA GAPMIL is connected to.

GAPMIL NA also presented their initiatives at the Third Conference of Media Education and Digital Competence, that was held in Segovia, Spain in June 2017.

Join in!

“The success of this global Alliance is about how we work together as partners with common goals. We are calling on all organizations working in the field of media, journalism, information, communication and education to join the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy. We need all of you” said Mr. Alton Grizzle, UNESCO Programme Specialist who manages the organization global actions on MIL. Membership form can be reached through the link available HERE. Membership in GAPMIL is free.

The UNESCO-initiated Global Alliance for Partnership on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) was formed in 2013 and organized into five chapters. One of them is the North American and European Chapter, which operate jointly as two sub-chapters. The NA Sub-Chapter is a joint effort between Canada and the U.S. through UNESCO’s support, aiming to promote international cooperation to ensure that all citizens have access to media and information competencies.

Leaders of this Sub-Chapter are organizing the meeting at the NAMLE Conference 2017, in Chicago.