Celebrating Media Literacy Week

November 3, 2015

I have been the Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) since 2012. It won’t come as a surprise when I tell you I am incredibly passionate about media literacy. I believe the ability to access, analyze, communicate and create using all types of media is essential to successfully navigate the media saturated world we live in today.

We are consuming and creating media messages all day, every day. These messages inform everything about our lives; the choices we make, the relationships we have, the votes we cast, and the people we become. The NAMLE vision is to help individuals of all ages develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression that they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in today’s world. NAMLE is best known for the Core Principles of Media Literacy Education, our biennial conference, and the Journal of Media Literacy Education. Our newest initiative, Media Literacy Week, is being held around the country from November 2nd - 6th 2015.

Media Literacy Week

Media Literacy Week is designed to bring attention and visibility to media literacy education in the United States. Inspired by Canada’s Media Literacy Week now in its 10th year, NAMLE is leading the efforts to create a media literacy week in the United States to showcase the work of amazing media literacy educators and organizations around the country. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today.

Sponsored by Trend Micro and Nickelodeon, the inaugural U.S. Media Literacy Week is a clear indication of the strength of the U.S. media literacy community. Our list of partners has grown to over 100 and continues to build every day. There are activities being planned from Vermont to California. The calendar of events is simply inspiring. I am hearing from educators and organizations all over the country ready to do their part to make sure media literacy is in every community around the country.

When we set out to launch U.S. Media Literacy Week, I had no idea what to expect. I had hoped we would be able to create some momentum around media literacy. It has truly surpassed my wildest dreams. Each day, my email inbox fills with educators asking how they can get involved and what they can do in their classroom to participate. I am inspired by every person who has reached out to me over the last few months. I am in awe of the efforts being made by long time NAMLE members like Jessica Brown at Gateway Media Literacy Partners who is conducting her 10th Media Literacy Week in St. Louis and Tessa Jolls at the Center for Media Literacy in L.A. who has organized multiple events all over her community every day during media literacy week. The work is simply astounding.

In my job, I am often asked, “what is the state of media literacy education in the U.S.?” Based on the passion and commitment I have seen for Media Literacy Week, I can confidently say the state of media literacy education is strong. And getting stronger every day.

*Please follow all media literacy week activity on Twitter @MediaLiteracyEd #MediaLitWk and like us on Facebook!

Written by

Michelle Ciulla Lipkin

Michelle Ciulla Lipkin is the Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. Michelle has helped NAMLE grow to be the preeminent media literacy education association in the U.S. She launched the first ever Media Literacy Week in the U.S. now in its 7th year, developed strategic partnerships with companies such as Thomson Reuters, Facebook, Twitter, and Nickelodeon, and restructured both the governance and membership of NAMLE. She has overseen four national conferences and done countless appearances at conferences and in the media regarding the importance of media literacy education. Michelle is an alumni of the U.S. Dept. of State’s International Visitors Program (Australia/2018). She is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at Brooklyn College where she teaches Media Literacy.

Michelle has been a guest on CNN’s Reliable Sources in 2017 and 2020. Michelle was the recipient of the 2020 Global Media and Information Literacy Award given by UNESCO. In 2020, Michelle appeared in the documentary “Trust Me” from award winning director Roko Belic as well as the PBS Documentary “Fake.”

Michelle began her career in children’s television production, in various roles on both corporate and production teams. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from New York University. Michelle focused her grad work on children and television where she caught the “media literacy bug”. After graduate school, Michelle worked as a facilitator for The LAMP (Learning about Multimedia Project) teaching media literacy and production classes for Pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade students.

Michelle is on the Advisory Council for the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) and also serves on National Judge’s Panel for Trend Micro’s “What’s Your Story?” Youth Media Contest. She is also a member of the Brain Trust for the documentary “Disclosure.”

Her passion for media literacy education stems from a very personal place. Learn more about Michelle’s story here.