We just posted the first batch of sessions for the 2006 Allied Media Conference. The goals this year were to bring in a lot of new faces and to focus in on the role of media in social justice work (thus the theme, "From Truth to Power, Because Being Right is Not Enough"). Even with just these first 11 sessions that we've confirmed, we're a long way towards accomplishing those goals.
In just this first group of 20 or so presenters, more than half are new to the AMC and a few others have attended but not presented. They're coming from Madison, Chicago, Montreal, New York, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Detroit, Detroit, Detroit.
As in past years, we're covering the full range of media with workshops on publishing to the web, writing for magazines, presenting movies at microcinemas, interviewing for radio (or print), and street art. We're also covering the policies and legislation affecting community media. But we're also bringing in tactics that we haven't covered before like oral history and art as creative expression.
Over the next two months, we'll be working to sharpen the framework for all of the sessions, but we expect each one to answer the question, how does this help advance our movements for social justice? This is an ambitious goal, but after doing this conference for seven years, we need to go in this direction.
With the world as it is, all of our movements face new challenges to be more effective and more relevant to people's daily lives. For those of us building a communications infrastructure to weave together all of these movements, that challenge is even more profound. How can we make communication tools – not that anyone can use, but that everyone will use (and not just early adopters a.k.a. white boys with laptops (like me))? And more, how can we go beyond the distribution of information, which is important but incomplete, to action that transforms our society?
If you have answers to these questions, please post them as comments. And register for the AMC 2006.