New Partnership for JLI in Lane County

The Journalistic Learning Initiative is pleased to partner with Lane Education Service District, in conjunction with Black Student Union leaders at schools across Lane County, to tailor an eight-week digital learning program for students of color.

“Lane has been working very hard to improve student outcomes for African American/Black students in Oregon, in accordance with the Student Success Act, which was recently signed into legislation,” said JLI Executive Director and Co-founder Ed Madison, Ph.D. “JLI’s project-based storytelling and excellent reputation in the county as a true partner that empowers teachers to easily incorporate journalistic skills into non-fiction learning is one reason we were asked to collaborate.”

Added Lane ESD School Improvement Executive Director Carlos Sequeira, Ed.D., “Our students thrive when learning is connected to their own lived experiences, see themselves reflected in the curriculum, and are given opportunities to see the real-life application of what we teach in our classrooms. JLI’s project does this, and much more.”

Pending the healthy and safe re-open of state schools and summer programs, JLI will offer professional development to Black Student Union (BSU) leaders in Lane County at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, and then pilot an after-school enrichment program for Black high school students to develop and distribute their own student-produced magazine and online digital publication.

Two University of Oregon undergraduate journalism students—who identify as Black to mirror the population they are serving—will peer mentor the BSU students on a weekly basis. Facilitation will occur via a video conference/”virtual newsroom” that links BSU students at their respective after-school gatherings to U of O.

“One of our many goals is to help Black students to gain confidence and find their ‘voice through choice’ to feel integral to the high school, local, and global communities, and to give Black students essential 21st century workforce and college readiness skills,” said Madison. “It is also our hope that by training BSU leaders on how to use journalistic learning skills they can ultimately feel empowered as a community to engage future classes of students with minimal JLI support.”

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