This past Friday, students from the Journalism & Media Academy and staff from CPBN got together to discuss important issues at The SpeakUp, an open forum held with the goal of building respectful and meaningful discourse about current events. The SpeakUp was held in the Learning Lab’s cafetorium, where students and staff sat in small groups that helped start discussions about the topics.
Hosted by JMA seniors working as a production team in the CPBN Media Lab, The SpeakUp invited students, staff, and JMA teachers to participate and have real conversations about issues that affect them. Three topics were selected for Friday’s forum – education, race, and news.
After talking in their small groups, the tables were asked to choose a representative to speak to the entire audience about what they discussed. From there, the forum opened for everyone to weigh in on the questions and comments of their peers. In addition to the open discussion, the back of the cafetorium was home to The SpeakUp Board, a place where additional questions and comments could be “posted” using sticky notes and markers.
Madyson Frame, a senior from JMA, served as the event’s emcee with help from WNPR Education Reporter David DesRoches. Frame liked the fact that The SpeakUp was held in an open forum format.
“It’s not like a lecture, you’re not just sitting there and listening to someone talk,” says Frame. “It’s sitting down and conversing and if you want to speak, you can and if you don’t, you don’t have to. As long as you’re listening, that’s the point.”