The fourth annual global celebration of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week will take place June 22-28, 2015. MIL Week highlights include the MIL Conference taking place June 26-27, 2015 in Philadelphia, USA, and the meeting of the UNESCO-UNAOC International University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID).
The MIL Week activities and conference are important opportunities for members of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) and the International University MILID Network to meet and share the latest research, projects, new ideas and information with a diverse gathering of stakeholders involved in information literacy and media literacy, and related disciplines and fields of study.
The 2015 Global MIL Week Conference will be held in collaboration with the US National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) and in partnership with the Center for Media and Information Literacy at Temple University. The theme for the 2015 conference is “Celebrating Connectivity Across Cultures”. The mission is to promote connectivity across education, organizations, policies, initiatives and nations. The meeting will bring together international organizations, universities, associations, research groups and educators, media professionals, information specialists and librarians, policy makers and regulators, NGOs and practitioners in MIL from around the world to heighten public awareness of the importance of media and information literacy at a global level.
The conference provides attendees with networking opportunities, professional development, research visibility, and a venue for celebrating the growth that has occurred under the “Big Tent” of media and information literacy. Throughout this two-day conference, attendees will interconnect, celebrate, inspire, circulate new ideas, and correlate future goals.
BACKGROUND TO MIL Week 2015: THE MILID NETWORK
While the spotlight will be on Philadelphia for 2015, the MIL week has a conference tradition established by The International University MILID Network. This network was created to enhance intercultural and cooperative research on MIL and to encourage cross-regional MIL initiatives focusing on issues such as cultural diversity, representation, and inclusivity.
Working together, the participant universities cross cultural barriers and engage in global dialogue and cooperation. Together, the universities promote and support other global research and capacity building media and information literacy initiatives that reinforce civic participation through open, free and independent media and information systems that favor intercultural dialogue and cooperation.
Flagship global MIL conferences have taken place in Fez (2011), Barcelona (2012), Cairo (2013), and Beijing (2014). Each of these meetings was part of a larger global week and conference of researchers, educators, industry professionals, students, policy makers, regulators and NGOs.
The Fez Declaration on Media and Information Literacy, which was the first international declaration to combine both media literacy and information literacy, called to “dedicate a week as World Media and Information Literacy Week to highlight to all stakeholders the value of promoting and pursuing MIL throughout the world.” (http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/news/Fez%20Declaration.pdf)
The conference in Philadelphia continues the tradition established by the MILID network over the past 4 years. The event provides an opportunity to develop and advance collaborative projects such as the MILID Yearbook, a publication highlighting innovative and noteworthy MIL projects around the globe over the past year. Through the efforts of United National Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), the Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research (NORDICOM) and the University Network, a MILID Yearbook was published in 2013 and 2014.
The 2015 MILID Yearbook will be officially released at the conference.
THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR PARTNERSHIPS ON MIL
To broaden the reach and impact of MIL initiatives, The Global Alliance on Partnerships for Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) was established in June 2013 in Nigeria. GAPMIL is a groundbreaking initiative to promote international cooperation to ensure that all citizens have access to critical information, media and digital competencies. The MILID network is the research arm of GAPMIL, together with the GAPMIL research committee. Organizations from over eighty countries have agreed to join forces and stand together for change. Click here to read more on the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy
Regional chapters of GAPMIL have been established in Western Europe, MENA (middle east and North Africa), the Pan-African Region, and Latin America. During the conference a special session will be held to discuss the development of a North American chapter of GAPMIL. Building on the wave of the chapters established in other parts of the world, this meeting will explore the possibilities for this collaborative concept in a chapter serving the US and Canada.
At the conference this year, a special awards ceremony will take place on Friday, June 26, 2015 where a GAPMIL Award will be launched. GAPMIL and MILID, with the support of UNESCO and UNAOC, will recognize exemplary work in media and information literacy. NAMLE will also be presenting several awards during the event that will recognize teachers, volunteers, and media companies.
While our global week this year is being celebrated through the conference in Philadelphia and the International University MILID meeting, we anticipate that 2016 will bring an expanded celebration globally through the work of the GAPMIL International Steering Committee and the GAPMIL regional chapters, building on the successful tradition of national MIL weeks that have been taking place around the world. While the date for the celebrations in 2016 is still to be determined, we look forward to a year of strategic planning and significant global outreach that will culminate in a GAPMIL General Assembly in Brazil. Watch for more information about the General Assembly and the date of the global celebrations for 2016 on the GAPMIL Forum at http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/media-development/media-literacy/global-alliance-for-partnerships-on-media-and-information-literacy/join-the-global-alliance/
UNESCO-UNAOC MILID UNITWIN current universities include:
The Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
Cairo University, Egypt
Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Temple University, Philadelphia, USA
The University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Queensland University of Technology, Australia
University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica
Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, Morocco
University of Guadalajara, Mexico
Western University, Canada
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Punjabi University, Patiala, India
University of the South Pacific, Fiji
University of Calabar, Nigeria
Contact for the NAMLE Conference, Sherri Hope Culver, Temple University. firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact UNESCO, email@example.com
Contact UNAOC, firstname.lastname@example.org
UNESCO and UNAOC, http://milunesco.unaoc.org/unitwin/