Sunday, June 12, 2016

Remixing media; speaking back about immigration #2nextprez

The Letters to the Next President (#2nextprez) project challenged participants to remix media this week in order to speak back to the media. This morning I chose to mark up a unique set of texts related to my interest topic, immigration: an online petition, a news release from a youth activist organization, and a news article. The three texts exemplify how media and activism are evolving, and they all suggest learning pathways I can follow through the #2nextprez project as I follow my interest in the immigration debate.

First, I sat down to read this anti-Trump petition created by famous authors including Stephen King, Amy Tan, and Dave Eggers. Before this morning, I'd only heard of the petition and I wanted to see what specific issues they raised. Also, I'm interested in the online petition as a genre of political speech, and a emerging means of activism.

In my annotation, I simply highlighted and rephrased the one of the reasons these authors have organized against the Trump campaign. In this case, I'm drawn to the stance they take against bigotry and nativism, which are motivations that have historically marked and continue to mark immigration debates. 

The second text I looked at was a press release from the youth activist organization United We Dream. With media channels become more and more diffuse, I wanted to see what stories a pro-immigrant organization circulates. 

My annotation reflects my reaction to a specific call to action. Unlike the petition, which sought to rally sentiment against a candidate, this press release seeks to draw attention to the actions of youth in order to generate support for their organization and for policy positions. My note explains my interest in the text and also articulates a central hypocrisy that frustrates me about the immigration debate. 

Lastly, I made notes on a New York Times article about two girls in Texas who were named valedictorians at their respective high schools and publicly identified themselves as undocumented, causing "outrage."  
I marked up a few quotes attributed to a mother whose child attended school with one of the girls. The mother's comments were emblematic of the racist reactions to the announcements. The article highlighted for me the courage the girls showed by making their status known. Not unlike civil rights marchers who risked their safety to in the fight for equal rights, these girls took a tremendous risk to join a cause of vital importance in their community. 

This text set has me thinking about the evolving landscape of political engagement and of activism in 2016. By using a social annotation tool, the texts I read and my notes about them are openly accessible to others who are interested in that political evolution, as well as the topic of immigration. As for these three texts, I plan to sign that petition and follow its progress; I plan to read more about the work of United We Dream youth activists, and to investigate how that organization might offer interest-driven learning pathways for my students in the next year; and last, I plan to read and collect powerful stories of youth voice as young immigrants are emboldened to step out of the shadows to challenge racism and unjust policy. 


  1. Great job, explaining your rationale and reasoning, Joe.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Kevin.

  2. Awesome! Cross post to Digital Is?