Empowering Media That Matters
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About Us

The Center for Media & Social Impact at American University is an innovation incubator and research center that creates, studies, and showcases media for social impact. Focusing on independent, documentary and public media, the Center bridges boundaries between scholars, producers and communication practitioners across media production, media impact, public policy, and audience engagement. The Center produces resources for the field and academic research; convenes conferences and events; and works collaboratively to understand and design media that matters.

The Center’s activities include:

  • INCUBATING creative and cutting-edge media projects that address issues of misrepresentation, identity, and social change.

  • INNOVATIVE RESEARCH to answer key questions underlying social impact media.

  • RESOURCES to facilitate impact through media: issue briefs, fact sheets, blog, and models for documentary and impact campaign production.

  • CONVENING issue experts, social scientists, technology specialists and producers to discuss and track trends, lessons learned, and new models for public engagement in media.

As part of the American University School of Communication, the Center offers research assistantships, screenings, master classes and volunteer opportunities to SOC students. The Center also has fellows associated with funded projects, but has no stand-alone funding for fellows.

The Center’s work has been supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, MacArthur, McCormick, Surdna and Rockefeller and Wyncote Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Contact Information:

Center for Media & Social Impact

American University

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20016-8017

Phone: 202.885.3107

cmsimpact [at] gmail [dot] com