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“Writing Our Democracy” Classes Begin in 4 Cities

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Clemente grads in Dorchester, New Bedford, Springfield, and Worcester study writing and media literacy.

Across the nation, residents have found ways to respond to challenges facing their communities, taking to the streets and making their voices heard through social and traditional media. A new initiative from Mass Humanities seeks to respond by offering courses in media literacy and op-ed writing for graduates of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, a program that serves adults in traditionally marginalized neighborhoods. The “Writing Our Democracy: Media Literacy, Local Voices, and the Shaping of Public Opinion” courses begin this month in four cities in Massachusetts. 

The project is made possible by a grant to Mass Humanities from the Mellon Foundation and the Federation of State Humanities Councils through the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, which supports humanities councils around the country. Mass Humanities developed the syllabus for “Writing Our Democracy” with a committee of local journalists and Clemente faculty.

The project seeks to deepen public understanding of the historical and philosophical foundations of a free press; create opportunities for local journalists to engage directly with community members to address issues of concern; and build media literacy and skills in neighborhoods often excluded from public view.

This marks the third time that Mass Humanities has received funding through the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative since 2013.

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