Our mission: To support and equip young people with media skills and a voice to tell their stories and the stories of this community.
In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly afterschool writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. Five years later the group has emerged into what the community now proudly recognizes as The kNOw Youth Media!
Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.
Through our sister program, The Beat Within, and through Focus Forward, we also host weekly writing workshops for incarcerated youth at the Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus. In 2011, we proudly launched a satellite youth media program in Merced.
We are one of six youth media programs incubated under the umbrella of Pacific News Service/New America Media, a 40-year-old non-profit headquartered in San Francisco that began as an alternative news service for mainstream newspapers during the Vietnam War and has evolved into a multi-media organization dedicated to building inclusive communications in a global society.
- Magazine: biannual youth publication
- Multimedia: youth-produced videos, audio stories, photography
- Community-Wide: forums where adults and young people come together to dialogue on larger community issues
Incarcerated Youth: With support from our local partner, Focus Forward, and through our sister program, The Beat Within, we conduct weekly writing workshops for over 100 incarcerated youth at the Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus. This local effort is part of a national program that strives to give incarcerated youth a chance to tell their side of the story and use writing and poetry as a way to navigate their losses and lessons learned.
The program operates weekly in cities across the country, such as San Francisco, Washington DC, Miami, Phoenix, Santa Cruz, and Fresno, among others. The written reponses are compiled into a weekly publication distributed to detention facilities throughout the country.
Our Fresno team consists of: David Inocencio, Lisa Lavaysse, Lily Romero, Joseph Anselmi, Anna Jacobsen and Marci Lopez. We are supported by many volunteers who provide typing and responses for our youth’s writing. For more information about volunteer opportunities with The Beat Within in Fresno, contact Marci Lopez.