Media and Social Change Lab members are currently working on, planning, and brainstorming several projects and partnerships. Some of these are fully formed, and some are ideas looking to build support and momentum.

Current Projects

Podcast Series

Our podcast series invites a range of voices to delve into issues related to media in research, scholarship, and social change. It is an exercise of and about participatory production. Join one of the podcast teams by joining the conversation on Slack.

Listen to our podcast episodes on Soundcloud or download/subscribe via iTunes!

Core team: Kyle Oliver, Brenda Khor, Azsaneé Truss

LAMBOOZLED!: Learning about Fake News Through Play 

(funded by a Provost Investment Fund grant, 2019)

Given the recent concerns about the spread of misinformation in online spaces, MASCLab is  developing a game that aims to hone young people’s media literacy skills, with a focus on identifying fake news and misinformation. In an initial stage, the game – targeted towards middle school students – will take the form of a board game, accompanied by lesson plans and other resources for educators or facilitators.

Core team: Ioana Literat, Yoo Kyung Chang, Jonathan Gardner, Joey Eisman, Azsaneé Truss

Lingering Traces of Youth Media Engagement – EVC Alumni Study

What are the resonances of involvement in a rigorous, youth development and civic participation oriented filmmaking program over the course of a person’s life? How might it shape the way people think? In partnership with the Educational Video Center, MASCLab embarked on an interview study with alumni from across the decades of EVC’s participatory youth documentary filmmaking programs to inquire about how such an experience continues to ripple through the lives of participants.

Core Team: Lalitha Vasudevan, Joe Riina-Ferrie, Brenda Khor, Azsaneé Truss, Troy Williams


#JustLit seeks to curate resources that center multimodal explorations of social change through young adult and children’s literature, media production, and popular culture. The #JustLit newsletter was recently launched, and the project will feature an Instagram account featuring text sets that foster an ethos of civic engagement and social change that can inform K-12 curriculum development. We are also looking to develop a forum for fostering racial literacy in children’s literature (January 2020) and curriculum hack for teachers taking up issues of racial justice.

Organizer: Detra Price-Dennis

Past Projects

Collaboration with Rethink:

In 2014 Masclab member Caroline DeVoe began documenting the work of Rethink, a public humanities program that applies humanities scholarship from Columbia University’s Heyman Center for the Humanities in the public sphere. Founded in 2013 by Columbia Ph.D. students Max Hayward and Robbie Kubala, and John Fantuzzo, a doctoral student in Philosophy and Education at Teachers College, Rethink began as a community-outreach endeavor that engaged court-involved, Harlem-area youth in deep philosophical discussions that examined questions of equality, justice, ethics, citizenship and more. Today Rethink has expanded and is now working with organizations assisting survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking.

Organizer: Caroline DeVoe

Past Interactive Screenings:

  • December 8th. With filmmaker Tatyana Kleyn, MASCLab screened the film Una Vida, Dos Paises . The film connects participants in Mexico and the United States to tell the stories and address the issue of deportation of youth who had grown up in the United States.
  • January 25th. “Newtown” “Filmed over the course of nearly three years, the filmmakers use unique access and never before heard testimonies to tell a story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history on December 14, 2012. Newtown documents a traumatized community fractured by grief and driven toward a sense of purpose. Joining the ranks of a growing club to which no one wants to belong, a cast of characters interconnect to weave an intimate story of community resilience.”Filmmaker: Kim Snyder, Director/Producer (
  • We are working with the Foster Care Film and Engagement Project to bring in filmmaker Yasmin Mistry and some of her participants to screen, discuss, and build connections around films centered on experiences in the foster care system.

Organizers: Lalitha Vasudevan, Cristina Salazar Gallardo, Joe Riina-Ferrie, Lisa Sepahi

Media Engagement and Adolescents’ Educational Wellbeing in Out-of-school
(funded by the Robert Bowne Foundation, Edmund A. Stanley, Jr. Research Grant, 2014)

In this study, we are engaged in building a theory of educational wellbeing through a close examination of adolescents’ media production experiences within an afterschool youth media program. We want to better understand how adolescents’ educational wellbeing—that is, youths’ sense of comfort and connection to a broad conception of education—is nurtured when they are engaged in collaborative media production during out of school time. In particular, we are focused on those adolescents who are also somehow involved with the criminal or juvenile justice system (herein, “court-involved youth”).

Organizers: Lalitha Vasudevan, Joe Riina-Ferrie

The Role of Participatory and Social Media in the Educational Wellbeing of Court-involved Youth
(funded by a Teachers College Dean’s Grant, 2014-2015)

This autumn (2014) we are piloting a longitudinal study of how court-involved youth in New York City access institutional, material, digital, and human resources in pursuit of their educational trajectories. We are especially interested in how these young people’s participatory and social media practices inform their educational wellbeing. The overall project to which this proposed study is connected focuses on educational wellbeing precisely because of its largely indefinable and elusive, yet significant, role in the educational trajectories of young people.

Organizer: Lalitha Vasudevan

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