After growing concern about the ever- increasing amount of messages young people receive through modern media such as television and the internet, the organisation, Just Think, was formed to encourage them to think for them-selves. It has been training both youth and adults in media arts and technology for eight years, not just in the US but also internationally. It aims to teach media literacy skills and to help young people tell their own stories, and create their own identities.
In March, Manny Selvage & Lee, one of the world’s leading public relations firms, committed itself to supporting Just Think’s work. One of the tasks was to raise the profile of Just Think’s Hidden Heroes’ project which helps to encourage hundreds of teenagers to seek out and recognise inspiring people that belong to their communities and to tell their stories using traditional media such as video, music and writing. Further work of Just Think includes its groundbreaking Hip Hop curriculum, aimed at strengthening young people’s critical thinking when it comes to popular culture. “The significance of the way kids see themselves and their world cannot be underestimated,” said Dave Yanofsky, Executive Director of Just Think.
A non-censorship organisation, the workshops help both students, teachers and parents alike, not just to learn media skills but to be aware of the choices they can make in their own evaluation of the media around them. Just Think is not just teaching young people about media, they are also teaching the world about young people.’