DIYdoc Partners with HITN and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office to Amplify Youth Voices Through Digital Storytelling

DIYdoc is launching a cutting edge digital storytelling project to enable youth in Brooklyn to learn about important issues like cyberbullying by creating news stories and PSAs on the issue itself. Cyberbulling, Cyber banging, sexting, and other troubling online trends are adversely affecting at-risk youth in marginalized communities in Brooklyn. The Kings County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Youth Initiatives is tackling this challenge in a visionary way by creating ways to enable young people in the community to share their solutions to this challenge. DIYdoc is providing youth with a simple app based platform to share stories on how issues like this are affecting their community, while enabling them to learn about social justice by defining and sharing their own solutions. This project has been created through a collaboration between Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc (HITN) and, the Kings County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Youth Initiatives.

The program is innovative because it will ultimately crowdsource the creation of short films created by youth, to help other youth to learn about cyberbullying, media literacy and social justice. This research-based educational method, created by David Grandison Jr (co-founder of DIYdoc), combines project-based learning and peer-tutoring to reach the DA’s goal of educating at-risk youth on this challenging topic. Research shows that youth are more likely to watch and share videos that are authentic and resonate as “real” to other youth, and we are hoping this technique will help at-risk youth in Brooklyn. The community will benefit since the app will enable them to share informative films on the topic as well as other local news stories with their friends and relatives.

DIYdoc’s mission is to enable young people to use inexpensive smartphones, that are widely available, to understand filmmaking better and create high quality films that matter. Our templated filmmaking methodology helps them to utilize narrative structures that filmmakers use while focusing on the stories they want to tell, and not the tools needed to tell the stories. HITN is changing the game by becoming the first DIydoc partner to commit to broadcast our videos to a global audience. This should be a huge motivator to youth to create films.

We are launching this digital storytelling pilot project in several Brooklyn public schools in June, 2017, under the auspices of the DA’s Bureau of Youth Initiatives. The project will be implemented through a series of workshops where experts from the DIYdoc team, HITN and the DA’s office, will train teachers and students to engage with other students to work together and create numerous short films. This program will ultimately create a platform for positive, responsible engagement between local youth and the prosecutor’s office, as well as, providing an exposure opportunity to students interested in a career in public service, law, app development, and multimedia production. This transmedia program and curriculum will enable these institutions to help minority youth by facilitating the sharing of stories on issues of critical importance to them.

This transmedia program will enable the network HITN to enhance its presence in marginalized communities across the country by enabling young people to share stories and community news that is of importance to them. This program is a new approach news gathering, enabling the network to highlight the best stories and combine multiple stories into longer form news programming for broadcast. It is ultimately a new approach that will amplify the voices of urban youth at a time when they feel like they are a voiceless minority in America.

Established in 1981 the HITN, headquartered in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is America’s Spanish-language, non-profit, public service network. HITN strives to advance the educational and socioeconomic aspirations of U.S. Hispanics by connecting families, educators and community-based organizations to provide high-quality, educational resources via their national television network, community outreach and educational app-based technology products.