Northridge: Students Advocate for Truth in Advertising
Named after proposed legislation called the Media and Public Health Act, MPHA_CSUN is an interdisciplinary service-learning project to educate, engage and empower students to counteract the influence of the media’s picture-perfect body “ideal” on their health and wellbeing. Partnering with the National Eating Disorders Association, CSU Northridge students from Journalism, Health Sciences, and Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating at University Counseling Services developed media literacy strategies to create an innovative social media-driven campaign to advocate for “truth in advertising” disclaimers on ads that digitally alter the human body. To raise awareness, students wrote their Congresspersons, engaged in “Spot the Photoshop” on Facebook, “Tweeted the Truth” on Twitter, and created public service announcements. The civic engagement impact was evident, as Associated Students passed a resolution supporting the proposed legislation, and Dr. Barbara Eisenstock was chosen as the 2013 Westin Family Award Winner for Excellence in Activism and Advocacy for her role in directing the project.
“The service-learning project helped me be more confident about myself. I stopped feeling that I had to look a certain way and began feeling that trying to look sexy was actually the opposite of my empowerment. My relationships are stronger because I am more secure and better understand how body images affect us all very differently.”
community engagement through the arts:
Music brought together Humboldt State students and senior citizens from a local residential living center in McKinleyville, California. For two semesters, students in two string quartets participated in service-learning music courses where they were given the chance to develop their repertoire during the fall semester and perform their pieces in the spring.
In the Arts and Letters 354: Community Impact Media course, CSU Los Angeles students learned the art of filmmaking and helped put a face on critical issues impacting our nation's youth.
With support from Cal Humanities, the CSU Sacramento Honors Program, in collaboration with Community Against Sexual Harm (CASH) and Take I Productions created the video “OFF-TRACK: A Behind the Scenes Look at Prostitution.” The video aims to inform and raise awareness of prostitution in the local communities of Sacramento and to inspire others to use non-judgment in providing services to victims of commercial sexual exploitation.