Civic Education & Media Literacy: Preparing learners to be active citizens

Tuesday – June 27

8:30am to 9:45am

Goodman Center

A conversation between scholars, educators and activists on the challenges and benefits of navigating today’s media landscape. This opening plenary will help set the tone for the conference overall and specifically address our theme, Engaging Citizens, Building Community.

Shawn Healey (moderator)
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Shawn Healy, leads the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Democracy Program, which fosters the civic development of the next generation of individuals, communities and institutions in Illinois.  Healy recently chaired the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education and led the successful push for a required high school civics course in Illinois. He also led the Illinois Social Science Standards Task Force in 2014-2015. Its recommendations were adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education in June 2015.Healy makes regular appearances as a guest speaker and panelist at academic and professional development conferences across the country, is a frequent contributor to local and national media, and produces original scholarship in the area of political participation and civic education.Before joining the McCormick Foundation, he served as a social studies teacher at West Chicago Community High School and Sheboygan North High School. A 2001 James Madison Fellow from the State of Wisconsin, he holds an MA and PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in political science and earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in Political Science, History and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Healy’s doctoral dissertation is titled “Essential School Supports for Civic Learning.”
Patricia Cartes
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As Twitter’s Head of Global Safety Outreach, Patricia Cartes works to define policy and to ensure user safety and security in the challenging realm of modern social media. Patricia’s team works 24×7 to defend and respect the voice of Twitter users and to fight online abuse including targeted harassment, child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and cyber-bullying.Patricia Cartes started working in the technology industry in 2006 when she joined Google’s Webspam team. After building an expertise in site integrity, she joined Facebook as one of the founding members of the company’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. During her time in the company she led the User Operations team and eventually joined Public Policy where she was appointed their Head of Safety responsible for maintaining relationships with online safety organizations, Law Enforcement & Military agencies, government hotlines and data protection authorities, across Europe.
Joe Kahne
Kahne_Joseph.pngJoseph Kahne is the Dutton Presidential Professor of Educational Policy and Politics at the University of California, Riverside.  A former teacher, Joe’s work explores ways that civic education must be redesigned to prepare youth for thoughtful, effective, and equitable civic and political participation in the digital age.  
Akili Lee
Lee_Akili.jpgAkili Lee is a social entrepreneur who has spent 15 years creating human-centered and technology empowered systems that provide equitable access to opportunity.He is the co-founder of the Digital Youth Network (DYN), an organization that addresses the urgent need to redesign learning by cultivating equity in our systems and agency in the lives of young people. Akili has been critical in defining DYN’s model of leveraging school, community, and online spaces to create new pathways to success for young people. Within DYN, Akili co-directs the Chicago City of Learning, a first of its kind citywide initiative that connects youth to thousands of local and online learning opportunities and supports them to develop rich portfolios along the way.Akili has led the design and development of two ground-breaking technology platforms that power the DYN learning systems. He is the creator of iRemix, one of the earliest youth-focused social learning networks designed for both formal and informal education environments. He is also the creator of the L3 Platform, the technology powering the Chicago City of Learning as well the national scale up of the Cities of Learning model adopted in a number of large and mid-sized cities including Los Angeles and Dallas. Akili is the co-founder and CEO of Remix Learning, a social enterprise that provides its learning platform to various youth and adult-serving institutions.
Sangita Shresthova
Shresthova_Sangita.jpgSangita Shresthova focuses on digital media, civics, participation, the civic imagination and cross-cultural dialogue. Her recent work has focused on storytelling and surveillance among American Muslim youth, the Kony2012 campaign, and global Bollywood. She is one of the authors of By Any Media Necessary: The New Activism of Youth, a book published in May 2016. Her creative work has been presented in academic and creative venues around the world including the Schaubuehne (Berlin), the Other Festival (Chennai), the EBS International Documentary Festival (Seoul).  A Czech-Nepalese child of the final years of the Cold War, Sangita grew up between Prague and Kathmandu. Her childhood was shaped by hostile visa policies and travel restrictions. In reaction, she has since taken the opportunity to call many cities home (including Brussels, London, Kandy, Ahmedabad, Berlin). She relishes any opportunity to draw on her mixed race/cultural chameleon-like background and routinely keeps track of multiple times zones. She is still most comfortable when her carry-on is packed and believes home is a place where there is someone waiting for you; right now that is Los Angeles where she is currently the Director of Henry Jenkins’ Civic Paths Group at the University of Southern California.