For more information, contact Paul Mihailidis

Phone: 617-824-3406


Social Justice

& Media Symposium

in memory of Moses Shumow
2020 Theme: Persistence

Friday, February 28, 2020

10:00am - 4:00pm

Jackie Liebergott Blackbox Theater

Emerson College, Boston, MA


The inaugural symposium on Social Justice and Media will convene for one day in Boston to explore the intersection of social justice and media as it relates to community and pedagogy in daily life.

The Symposium

We persist towards. We resist against.

In our abundant media environment, where our technologies ask for more and more of our fleeting attention, it seems challenging to stay committed to an idea, an issue, a moment. Connective technologies have succeeded in disconnecting us. They have splintered our communities, polarized our politics, and normalized spectacle in our information feeds. The same online networks that once touted their collaborative potential now provide sensational content to like-minded groups, and seed distrust in the very institutions we rely on for functioning civic societies. The core functions of information systems are now under attack, and the weaponization of fake news by political and public leaders has further eroded such trust. Journalists, meanwhile, are losing the trust of communities who find refuge and solace in the validation of information by peers online. 


It is within this context that the symposium will convene activists, scholars, students, and storytellers to explore how media pedagogy and practice can persist in the face of our increasingly transactional, shallow and fractured media infrastructure. The symposium will provide time for dialog, engagement, deliberation and reflection on how we can best prepare young storytellers to advocate for the media and civic systems that best reflect equitable and vibrant societies.


The symposium is in memory of the work and life of Professor Moses Shumow. On October 22, 2019, mediamaker and activist Moses Shumow passed away tragically in a train accident outside of Boston, MA.  Moses was a firm believer in the power of story to reframe narratives of the marginalized. He worked tirelessly in the classroom and community, to help people use media to advocate for their rights. His classrooms were reflections of this work, and his students gravitated towards his commitment, passion and energy. This symposium will gather students, colleagues, friends and loved ones to continue the dialog that was so important to Moses’s work, and to communities around the world.



Attend via livestream here!

9:30 am
10:00 am
Coffee Served
Welcome & Opening Remarks

Rosie Shumow, Paul Mihailidis

10:30 am
Keynote on Data Feminism
11:30 am
11:45 am
Panel: Engaged Scholarship & Persistent Pedagogy

Panelists: Sallie Hughes (Moderator), Chris Harris, Jessica Retis, Juliet Pinto, Paola Prado,

Paul Mihailidis, Robert "Ted" Gutsche

12:45 pm
Lunch & Community Building

Lunch provided

1:45 pm
Screenings: Liberty Square Rising by Moses Shumow

Moderated by Sanjeev Chatterjee

3:00 pm
3:15 pm
Roundtables: Identifying Needs & Sharing Resources
Announcement of the Transformative Media Literacy Scholar Award
4:00 pm
End of Event 
3:45 pm

Transformative Media Literacy Scholar Award

Call for nominations is open!

At the inaugural social justice and media symposium, the first Transformative Media Literacy Scholar Fellow will be announced. This award goes to young academics or advanced graduate students that are doing exceptional work at the intersection of journalism education, participatory media, media literacy, community activism and social justice. 


The Transformative Media Literacy Fellowship aims to provide dynamic opportunities for emerging teachers, scholar activists, and organic intellectuals to engage in transformative teaching and research practices, and learn leadership skills for impactful work in our current digital culture. Awardees should be active in the practice and pedagogy for social justice-oriented media work, within communities and classrooms.


The Awardee will be granted travel and room/board at the Salzburg Academy on Media Global Change, and a stipend to complete a project in the year that they received the award.


Nominations are open, and should include a description of why this candidate should receive the award, and a project (community or pedagogy) that could use funding.


All Inquiries should be sent to: Paul Mihailidis at 

This award is inaugurated to celebrate the life and work of Moses Augustín Shumow, an award-winning educator, activist, and scholar. Moses worked tirelessly to tell the stories of transnational and underserved communities. He manifested in his work the values of radical pedagogy, a commitment to underserved communities, and a persistent mindset, anchored by the idea that narratives had the potential to reframe the plight of those in need.


The following transit lines have routes that pass near Emerson College – Paramount Center:

By Bus

504, 99, SL1, SL3, SL5

By Subway 

Inbound trains on the Blue, Green, Red, or Orange Lines

By Train

Fitchburg, Framingham/Worchester, Newburyport/Rockport

Jackie Liebergott Blackbox Theater
Emerson Paramount Center
559 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111

The Jackie Liebergott Blackbox Theater is located on the third floor of the Emerson College Paramount Center

Nearby hotels:

About Moses Shumow

Moses Augustín Shumow, born on June 27, 1977, in Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico, died in Beverly, MA, on    October 22, 2019. After completing his PhD at the University of Miami in 2010, Moses began his teaching career at Florida International University. He taught at FIU for nine years, earning college-wide honors for teaching excellence and community engagement. In addition to his passionate teaching, Moses worked tirelessly to tell the stories of transnational and underserved communities in urban Miami. His documentary Liberty City Rising, produced with his students, screened around the United States and received national attention and accolades. Moses was incredibly proud of documenting the rich and often untold history of marginalized communities and believed in the power of storytelling to shift perspectives, challenge stereotypes, and create positive narratives. As a result of this work, Moses was awarded fellowships from the Miami Urban Future Initiative and Images of Voices and Hope. 

In addition to his filmmaking, Moses was the editor of Mediated Communities: Civic Voices, Empowerment and Media Literacy in the Digital Age and co-author of News, Neoliberalism, and Miami’s Fragmented Urban Space. He authored numerous articles on media literacy, journalism and civic participation. In 2008, Moses joined the faculty of the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, where he was able to find global avenues for his work, traveling to places like Cyprus, Beirut, Lebanon and Salzburg, Austria.

After teaching for nine years at Florida International University, Moses and his family returned to Boston in Fall 2019 to Emerson College, where Moses began a job as a tenured associate professor in the Department of Journalism. In his short time at Emerson, Moses taught courses in Editing and Web Producing, quickly becoming a favorite of students. He volunteered to oversee the student-run news channel and was working to develop new courses for the graduate program in Media Design. Moses was also working on his latest book project about media literacy and community engagement. 

Moses was raised in Gila, New Mexico. His upbringing in the mountains of New Mexico cultivated his commitment to promoting the interconnectedness of geography, community and storytelling. He cultivated his passion for film, working as a documentary filmmaker for local and national networks, including PBS, National Geographic, History Channel and Discovery. He received numerous awards for his work including the duPont-Columbia Gold Baton Award and a Rocky Mountain Emmy for Cultural Programming. He completed a BA in Communication at New Mexico State University, then went on to earn his MA in Broadcast Journalism at Emerson College.

Learn more about Moses's work at

Social Justice & Media Symposium Partners