Alliance for a Media Literate America: Founding Declaration

Whereas the explosion of new communication technologies has made media literacy skills essential for life in the 21st century, and

Whereas we are living through a technological revolution that is transforming our society, changing the way we understand ourselves and our communities, as well as the way we work, communicate, live, teach and learn, and

Whereas, media technologies are accessible to individuals in unprecedented numbers, and

Whereas democratic citizenship in our media-saturated culture requires that all Americans be able to analyze what we see and hear, as well as what we read, and

Whereas the inclusion of media literacy in state education standards has underscored the need for appropriate training and support for educators, and there is an urgent need to disseminate the growing number of effective strategies developed by teachers across the country who have incorporated media literacy into their classrooms, and

Whereas medical, social service, and justice system professionals have identified media literacy as a vital tool in the promotion of public health, prevention, and wellness, and

Whereas media literacy skills enable people to use the full range of communication technologies for creative expression, and personal and professional growth, and

Whereas the ability to produce media significantly enhances people's ability to communicate, as well as to understand media messages, and media makers, both professional and community based, have considerable expertise to share, and

Whereas media literacy can benefit from opportunities for practitioners from different fields and perspectives to meet to exchange ideas, experiences, and expertise, and

Whereas opportunities for respectful dialogue are essential to the expansion of media literacy in the United States, and

Whereas, a national organization is uniquely able to harness the collective passion and energy of its members to fuel the growth of media literacy, and link the thousands of heretofore isolated media literacy practitioners and projects across the country into a vibrant support network, and

Whereas a national coalition of practitioners can advocate for media literacy in ways that are more powerful and influential than any individual, project, or institution can achieve alone,

We, therefore, this day of June 23, 2001, create the Alliance for a Media Literate America as a national membership organization dedicated to the promotion of media literacy education that encourages hope rather than cynicism, participation rather than passivity, probing discussion rather than rhetorical attacks, healthy skepticism rather than suspicion, and inclusion rather than exclusion. As we celebrate our accomplishments and learn from our challenges, we will broaden our field, our dialogues, our visibility, and our practice.