Press Release, 11/14/2012.
Graduate Center’s (CUNY) Newly-Formed JustPublics@365 Receives Research Grant from the Ford Foundation to Address Social Inequality through Digital Media
Ambitious Program Will Link Work of Academics, Activists and Journalists to inform the public
New York, NY (November 14, 2012) – The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (GC) announced today that the Ford Foundation has provided a research grant to launch JustPublics@365, which will bring together journalists, academics, activists and policy advocates who are working to address social inequality through digital media.
“We’re delighted that the Ford Foundation shares our long-term vision for bringing academic research to bear on pressing problems of social justice,” said Graduate Center Provost Chase F. Robinson. “JustPublics@365 is an ambitious effort to maximize the influence of faculty research through the innovative use of a wide range of social media, by creating partnerships among academics, activists and policy-makers, and by seeking new ways to measure impact.”
“The Graduate Center, with its distinguished history of research on inequality, is uniquely qualified to work with the Ford Foundation to create a more informed public sphere,” added Robinson.
At the Graduate Center and beyond it, JustPublics@365 engages a dialogue among researchers on inequality, activists and media. It uses the networked landscape of the internet and the physical environs of the GC – JustPublics@365 is named for the institution’s address at 365 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan – to bring attention to those inequalities across several domains: economic, housing, race and ethnicity, immigration, health, and education. The program’s first public event will be held at the GC on Thursday, March 6, 2013.
“The pathway for scholars working on social justice research to engage the public via traditional and new forms of media will require collaborative models like JustPublics@365 now and into the future,” said Darren Walker, vice president of the Education, Creativity and Free Expression program at the Ford Foundation. “An informed citizenry is a prerequisite for democracy and embarking on creative experiments to connect the public to research on critical issues is a necessary priority.”
JustPublics@365 will be overseen by Chase Robinson, Provost of the GC, Jessie Daniels, a professor of Public Health and Sociology at the Graduate Center, and Matthew K. Gold, who serves at the GC as Advisor to the Provost for Master’s Programs and Digital Initiatives and Acting Executive Officer of the M.A. Program in Liberal Studies.
Daniels, an internationally recognized expert on Internet manifestations of racism, has authored two books about race and various forms of media – White Lies (Routledge, 1997) and Cyber Racism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009) – along with dozens of journal articles and book chapters. Her research has been supported by the MacArthur Foundation, Duke University, Project for Civic Discourse & the Public Sphere, and the Third Millennium Foundation. Her current work focuses on the ways race and the political economy influence feminist blogging. Her scholarly blog, Racism Review, gets 200,000 unique visitors monthly and has had well over 2 million visitors since it began in 2007. Forbes magazine recently named Daniels one of “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter.”
Gold is editor of Debates in the Digital Humanities and has published in The Journal of Modern Literature, as well as in the edited collections From A to <A>: Keywords of Markup, Learning Through Digital Media: Experiments in Technology and Pedagogy, and Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics. His digital humanities projects, including “Looking for Whitman” and “Commons in a Box,” have been supported by grants from the NEH Office of Digital Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Through the grant, Robinson, Daniels and Gold will develop an innovative “alt metrics” measurement program with GC to assess the impact of academic research on the public sphere and social justice initiatives
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JustPublics@365, developed by the Gradate Center of the City University of New York and sponsored by a grant from the Ford Foundation, aims to increase the impact of scholarly work on inequality by forging links among scholars, media professionals and political activists, and inspiring informed public debate. The project assists academics in framing their research for social media and explores new metrics to measure the impact of networked scholarship with the goal of advancing an agenda for social justice. For more information, visit: www.gc.cuny.edu/justpublics365
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