Emerson professors and students launch media and health literacy project with Boston Public Health Commission
Emerson professors and students are gearing up for the launch of Emerson’s newest community collaboration, the Emerson Literacy Education & Empowerment Project (eLEEP). Co-Directors Angela Cooke-Jackson, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Emerson College) and Paul Mihailidis, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor in the Department of Marketing Communication at Emerson College) created eLEEP with the goal of developing an interdisciplinary hub to build consumer driven and initiated campaigns for social change and individual and community self-efficacy. eLEEP promotes positive youth development, community outreach, and collaborative, project-based activism by utilizing social media platforms and mobile technologies.
Beginning on Monday, July 9th, Emerson undergraduate students Emily Murphy, Meghan DeMarsh, Dana Cornelius, Jessica Nicholson, and Barbara Platts and graduate students Shang Gao and Kang Zhang will serve as Peer Mentors to eighty youth participants in the Peer Leadership Institute and Start Strong Initiative programs of the Boston Public Health Commission. Additionally, Kaitlin Barnes, an Emerson alumna, will continue consulting for the project as the Senior Peer Community Coordinator. The eLEEP team, under Dr. Cooke-Jackson and Dr. Mihailidis, will engage with several groups of Boston youth over a six-week media literacy course, which is to be facilitated on Emerson’s campus. The goal of this collaboration is for Boston-area youth to create public service announcements, under the direction of Ursula August, that address pressing health issues faced in their communities. Through eLEEP, Emerson has been able to offer equipment and facility usage in addition to providing funds for Emerson students to participate and assist youth throughout the course.
Through this summer’s anticipated collaboration and the expansion of project activities during the academic year, eLEEP aims to brand Emerson College as the preeminent Boston presence for the use of media as an empowerment tool for social change. As Dr. Cooke-Jackon and Dr. Mihailidis note, eLEEP provides “a unique opportunity to engage a cohort of Emerson College students with local youth” in a partnership that uses media literacy and public health as platforms for youth development, self-efficacy, and community empowerment. For more information regarding eLEEP, please contact Dr. Angela Cooke-Jackson at (617) 824-3411 or Kaitlin Barnes at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Additional information about the Boston Public Health Commission and available programs and services for Boston youth can be found at <www.bphc.org>.
Here’s a photo of the eLEEP peer mentors and Dr. Mihailidis: