Collective Impact means together we discover solutions to empower kids to make deliberate choices in the way they interact with their digital world.

Positive Youth Empowerment

In media literacy literature, there are two approaches to helping youth navigate their lives in a digital world: protectionist and empowering. (See, for example, “New media literacies in after-school settings: Three curricula from the program ‘Explore Locally, Excel Digitally’ at Robert F. Kennedy community Schools in Los Angeles.” Journal of Media Practice, Volume 14, Issue 4, 2013.)

As mentioned above, much of the approach in the research is to note problems and patterns and then recommend more education, control, rules, etc. – leaving youth more as objects to be controlled rather than agents of their own choices. And yet, there is no evidence in data trends that would indicate that this kind of typical, protectionist approach is helping youth unplug from technology or make significant shifts in using technology to prepare for their futures and do good in their communities. If anything, data show a continued increase in media use among youth.

EPIK’s vision is to start to move the needle by helping facilitate the creation of collaborative community solutions that help youth develop their ability to use technology in deliberate ways. In addition to gathering thought leaders, parents, concerned citizens and youth toward this end, EPIK will select and hire experts who will measure outcomes focused heavily on encouraging and identifying additive, positive outcomes rather than primarily focusing on the reduction of negative outcomes or risk factors.

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