College Students Rewrite Violent Media Narrative of Black Women on Reality Television

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MEDIA ADVISORY ALERT 

WHAT

Redefining HERstory Campus Social Action Program Celebration Events

WHY

Roughly half of all reality shows feature Black cast members whose behaviors reinforce damaging stereotypes that help normalize violence against women of color, including university-aged women who are at greater risk than their White counterparts to be victims of sexual and domestic violence. Sil Lai Abrams, CEO of Truth In Reality, will visit several campuses to wrap up the Redefining HERstory Campus Social Action Program, and students will have an opportunity to promote original content that reflects their real-life counter narratives to the violent depiction of women of color on reality television. The events will culminate in a call to action for their continued advocacy to redefine the existing media images of women of color.

WHEN & WHERE

Thursday, March 19  6:00 pm, Grambling State University, Favrot Student Union

Wednesday, March 25  3:00 pm, Howard University, Blackburn Student Center

Tuesday, March 31  7:00 pm, Kent State University, Oscar Ritchie Hall

Background

In October 2014 during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Truth In Reality launched the Redefining HERstory Campus Social Action Program to challenge students on their belief systems around domestic violence and sexual violence, and redefine the predominantly violent media narrative of Black women – using the messaging on reality television as the basis for this conversation. The six-month program was implemented concurrently on the campuses of Alabama A&M University, Grambling State University, Howard University, and Kent State University.

Recent studies show violent reality shows have an adverse effect on the emotional development of young women and girls, and can predispose men to violent behavior towards women. Redefining HERstory provides students with media literacy tools that enable them to think critically about their media consumption habits, engages them in consistent digital advocacy through weekly Truth In Reality #RealityTVCheck tweet chats, increases their awareness of the real life impact of domestic violence and sexual violence, and exposes them to a variety of successful women of color whose achievements have redefined our collective history.

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