Being an MDR mentor this quarter was a great experience. I had participated in the program last quarter, as my interest for it was sparked in a presentation by Shaunelle in my psychology class. This quarter I decided I once again wanted to join MDR [and] didn’t think about it twice. Last quarter my group presented to high schoolers and 8th graders, this time around it was all middle school kids, 6th-8th. Although a lot younger of a crowd, I was very pleased to have been able to present to them about cyber bullying and inform them about how it can be avoided or solved at such a young age. It makes me feel good to know that they will have knowledge about the issue and hopefully know how to help someone who experiences this and also know what to do if they encounter this issue. ~CSULA Spring 2013 Mentor
I just want to say that this experience was spectacular!!! During our presentations, the students (were) actively participating by asking questions and being involved in the activities that were held by our group.
They were all having a good time while learning about becoming critical and conscious consumers of media, specifically of hip hop music videos. Their reaction was priceless. It was very rewarding seeing how the students were thinking of the messages that the songs were trying to convey and how [the songs] were dehumanizing women by sexually objectifying them to a male audience. Each group was able to “rap” the new version of their songs. Overall the experience was fun and rewarding. Being part of MDR gave us the opportunity to bring awareness to high school students but most importantly to be a helping hand/ mentor to future leaders in the community. :) ~CSULA Spring 2013 Mentor
Music has been used to fuel revolution, to bring attention to the ills of society and to woo our heart’s desire. Music has been used as a force for social change and as a pure, fun outlet for free self-expression. As one of the most powerful creative forces we know, music is integrated into almost every aspect of our lives. We use it in ceremony and celebration and we are maximizing the positive, therapuetic qualities of music on our overall well-being. So, how is it that this powerful, creative force is also posing serious health risks to today’s youth?
In the 2008 study, “The Rap on Rap: A Content Analysis of BET and MTV’s Daytime Music Video Programming,” there were a total of 746 sexually explicit scenes or lyrical references in 27.5 hours of programming. That is one reference every 2.2 minutes. Explicit lyrics and obscene gestures occurred once every 3.5 minutes. This programming occurred during daytime hours in which children under 18 made up 39-41% of the viewing audience. So, what difference does this make? After all, every new generation of parents seems to think their child’s generation of music is the worst. And youth just want to be free to express themselves, have fun and engage in shared experience with their peers.
Part of the concern is that the videos and lyrics they are exposed to rarely show the long-term adverse effects of risky sexual and violent behavior. It serves as a cultural model for behavior, but doesn’t follow through with the benefits it purports.
Studies show that African-American female adolescents with greater exposure to Hip-Hop videos with high sexual content are twice as likely as other girls to have multiple sexual partners and 1.5 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease. Approximately one in four sexually active young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 contracts an STD each year and girls comprise a larger share of HIV/AIDS cases among teens than adults. According to the CDC, African-Americans represent 61% of HIV/AIDS cases among 13 to 24-year olds.
With the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of youth being threatened, it is imperative to train our young girls and boys to be critical thinkers about the media they consume and the actions they take in response to it. Mother’s Day Radio is working to increase awareness about the health risks of certain modeled behavior and to help teens make decisions that will positively support their health for years to come. ~Shaunelle Curry, MDR Founder/Director
Media Done Responsibly is a project of the Pasadena Arts Council’s EMERGE Fiscal Sponsorship Program. Pasadena Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donations to Media Done Responsibly are tax deductible to the full extent of the law under Federal ID 95-2540759.