SOURCE: The LAMP

The LAMP

September 07, 2017 09:00 ET

The LAMP Launches 22x20 Campaign to Activate, Engage, and Equip 22 Million Newly Eligible Youth Voters for the 2020 Elections

Civic media literacy campaign kicks off with two-day summit hosted by Columbia University's David & Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Sep 7, 2017) - Today The LAMP, a New York City-based nonprofit that brings 21st century media and digital literacy survival skills to students and teachers, announced the launch of 22x20, a crucial, non-partisan campaign to activate the 22 million young voters who will be eligible to vote for the first time in the 2020 U.S. presidential elections. The campaign officially kicks off on September 15th with a two-day summit sponsored by Columbia University, the Facebook Journalism Project, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Mozilla Foundation. The summit will convene a brain trust of educators, journalists, technologists, funders and student leaders to develop an actionable framework for ramping up the media literacy skills necessary for civic engagement across the nation's youth.

The ability to discern, and more importantly, challenge, misinformation is key to participating in the democratic process. It is now more important than ever to critically assess the credibility of information that floods the current digital media landscape. According to a Pew Research Center report, 64% of U.S. adults believe fabricated articles create confusion on basic facts and current events.

Meanwhile, a 2016 Stanford study showed that more than 80% of high school students do not question the source of news claims made on social media, and 82% of middle school students have difficulty distinguishing between online advertising and news. The 22x20 campaign aims to change this by focusing on three key areas: scalable tools & pedagogy for educators, national and state-level partnerships, and educator support networks.

"Media literacy is essential to building an informed and thriving democracy," said D.C. Vito, Executive Director of The LAMP. "As American citizens, it is our responsibility to fully interpret and then challenge the media that is put in front of us in order to have an informed understanding of the world around us and make thoughtful decisions. Even for this first generation of truly digital natives, it is increasingly difficult to identify bias and separate fact from fiction. 22x20 is a call to action for young people to create and lead critical conversations about the kind of democracy they want."

The three-year campaign will open at a two-day summit on September 15-16, 2017, at the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University. The summit is intended as an "un-conference" of educators, youth, journalists, and civic technologists who will come together to develop a campaign coalition and framework that will galvanize and empower these next 22 million citizens eligible to vote.

"The spread of misinformation has proven to be one of the most divisive and fraught challenges facing our global community today, and it impedes the great opportunity of the Internet to power a democratic society," said Chris Lawrence, Mozilla's VP Leadership Network and LAMP board member. "We must address this issue through technology, but also through supporting education so that no matter how misinformation is spread, Internet users are equipped to challenge it. As a company proud of our commitment to putting community first, we are proud to not only offer our own Mozilla Information Trust Initiative, but to also devote resources to people, programs and projects like The LAMP and its 22x20 campaign."

In addition to the campaign's leading sponsors, we are excited to announce our growing list of partners committed to championing media, civic and digital literacy. These include: the American Library Association, Common Sense Media, the Engagement Lab, Generation Citizen, CIRCLE, The Harry Potter Alliance, KQED, the National Association for Media Literacy Education, DoSomething.org, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council for the Social Studies, the National Speech & Debate Association, the National Writing Project, Virago Futures and WGBH.

Through the 22x20 campaign, The LAMP aspires to encourage youth to take advantage of their expertise in using technology to engage with major events and combine it with a platform to impact the world they will inherit. It is essential that youth voices are included as a part of our democratic process, and crucial that they understand the great opportunity and responsibility they have to change and impact political and governmental discourse in the United States. The campaign's primary goal is to construct and harness a system for youth to be a viable political force by 2020.

For more information or to get involved with the 22x20, please visit: http://thelamp.org/22x20/. The LAMP is also hosting a kick-off party the night before the event on September 15th at Dewey's Pub in New York City, which is open to the public. Click here for additional details.

About The LAMP
The LAMP is a New York City-based nonprofit providing vital, hands-on services that help students, parents, and educators navigate and thrive in a digital age of constant information. The LAMP works to promote four core ideas: access to media literacy education is a basic human right of the technological age, regardless of socioeconomic status; critical thinking skills necessary to dissect advertisements, news, and media are best implemented in the classroom; actively engaging with media instead of censoring it is the key to creating an informed community; and that we are individually responsible as citizens of a democratic society to comprehend, challenge and critique media.

In addition to direct outreach and workshops within NYC-based middle and high schools, The LAMP provides digital support in the form of its MediaBreaker/Studios video remix edtech platform. Since its launch in Spring 2016, over 200 schools and organizations in 45 states and 22 countries have adopted the platform. Learn more at www.thelamp.org.

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