As part of LMU’s ongoing commitment to equity and inclusion, SFTV Associate Professor Miranda Banks, PhD. co-moderated EDIT Media’s “Anti-Racist Film and Media Pedagogy Roundtable” virtual panel last month. The event was hosted by EDIT Media (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Teaching Media), the teaching initiative driven by faculty and students in film and media programs across North America. The discussion was also co-sponsored by Console-ing Passions, one of the leading international academic networks for feminist media scholars in television, video, audio, and new media.
Along with her research work on the power dynamics in creative production, Banks is one of the founding members of EDIT Media. “Our mission is to affect both pedagogical and administrative change in these academic fields to produce educational experiences that are equitable, just, supportive and engaged for all students and all faculty,” explains Banks.
Co-moderator Jennifer Proctor, M.F.A., Associate Professor of Journalism and Screen Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, co-wrote the “EDIT 10” with Banks in 2017. Developed by media faculty for media faculty, the best practices guide offers a simple and easy-to-implement blueprint for inclusive teaching in media production education and was based on research conducted with faculty, students, and alumni around the country. The goal is to come up with a standard practice in media production instruction to combat shared concerns from students and faculty alike surrounding gender, racial, economic, and other inequities in the classroom setting to help make equitable and inclusive classroom experiences a reality for all.
One of the initiatives that started in the 2020-2021 academic year is “Pledge the EDIT 10” – an effort to form a community of film and media faculty around North America who have pledged to adopt anti-racist, accessible, and high-impact inclusive teaching throughout their curricula by participating in activities to rethink, redesign, and re-imagine their existing pedagogies.
With more sustained efforts in inclusive education in media, the changing media and entertainment landscape will hopefully play a key role in advancing minority representation in storytelling in an authentic and meaningful way. One of the panelists Vaun Monroe, M.F.A, Associate Professor at Wiley College – another founding member of EDIT Media – started his introduction with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King: “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice.” Growing up in a working-class environment, he was the first to graduate college in his family and recalls being inspired to pursue filmmaking by iconic directors John Singleton and Spike Lee – the only two successful black filmmakers he had heard of at that time.
Another panelist and writer of Showtime’s “Why We Laugh: Funny Women,” Bambi Haggins, PhD., Associate Professor at UC Irvine has been teaching film and media studies since 2000 and recalls how much her own views on academia have changed during that time. She reminds the group that in doing this work, it’s really important to recognize your own position in the system. “Regardless of who you are, anyone who does anti-racist work or any work that’s trying to reject the oppressive hierarchy, you have to know where you stand.”
The next EDIT 10 event will be on Friday, March 26 when a panel of students – including SFTV’s own first-year Writing for the Screen MFA student Dongwon Oh – gather to share their experiences and what additional steps faculties can take to support their academic journey. Sign up for the FILM + MEDIA EDUCATION – THE STUDENT PERSPECTIVE virtual panel here.
Top image: Screenwriting class at LMU SFTV | Credit: LMU
Su Fang Tham is a story analyst and freelance writer specializing in filmed entertainment. Based in Los Angeles, she is also a contributing writer for Film Independent and CineMontage, Journal of the Motion Picture Editors Guild.