The Pittsburgh Black Media’s Frank Bolden Urban Multimedia Workshop

Abstract

This project will build on the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s Frank Bolden Workshop, which for 40 years has trained students in writing, self-development, and self-confidence.

The Pitt Seed grant will fund a media training program that takes place for five-consecutive Saturdays in the summer. The project aims to host 10 to 30 students each workshop. It’s open to all, but many of the participants come from underserved communities – Hill, Homewood, Hazelwood, and other neighborhoods. The instructors are local media professionals who teach that positive, skillful media can be a weapon against bias and discrimination.

The Frank Bolden workshop is a storytelling project that uses media to help students share stories of their lives and their communities. For students from underserved communities, in particular, this project helps to broaden the scope of their humanity beyond stereotype, and fights against the narrative discrimination that too often flattens outs their lives.

At the end of the workshop, students produce news stories, podcasts, photography, and web stories. The Frank Bolden workshop uses these media skills to teach self-confidence, awareness and pride; building these skills strengthens the individual, who then strengthens the community. One inclusive byproduct: when workshop students decide on communications careers, they bring diverse voices to a profession where African Americans are only 5.3 percent of its workforce.

Principal Investigator
  • Ervin Dyer

    Office of Communications