YPP Network Description

The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

  • On me, and the Media Lab

    by Ethan

    A week ago last Friday, I spoke to Joi Ito about the release of documents that implicate Media Lab co-founder Marvin Minsky in Jeffrey Epstein’s horrific crimes. Joi told me that evening that the Media Lab’s ties to Epstein went much deeper, and included a business relationship between Joi and Epstein, investments in companies Joi’s VC fund was supporting, gifts and visits by Epstein to the Media Lab and by Joi to Epstein’s properties. As the scale of Joi’s involvement with Epstein became clear to me, I began to understand that I had to end my relationship with the MIT Media Lab. The following day, Saturday the 10th, I told Joi that I planned to move my work out of the MIT Media Lab by the end of this academic year, May 2020.
    My logic was simple: the work my group does focuses on social justice and on the inclusion of marginalized individuals and points of view. It’s hard to do that work with a straight face in a place that violated its own values so clearly in working with Epstein and in disguising that relationship.
    I waited until Thursday the 15th for Joi’s apology to share the information with my students, staff, and a few trusted friends. My hope was to work with my team, who now have great uncertainty about their academic and professional futures, before sharing that news widely. I also wrote notes of apology to the recipients of the Media Lab Disobedience Prize, three women who were recognized for their work on the #MeToo in STEM movement. It struck me as a terrible irony that their work on combatting sexual harassment and assault in science and tech might be damaged by their association with the Media Lab. The note I sent to those recipients made its way to the Boston Globe, which ran a story about it this evening. And so, my decision to leave the Media Lab has become public well before I had intended it to.
    That’s okay. I feel good about my decision, and I’m hoping my decision can open a conversation about what it’s appropriate for people to do when they discover the institution they’ve been part of has made terrible errors. My guess is that the decision is different for everyone involved. I know that some friends are committed to staying within the lab and working to make it a better, fairer and more transparent place, and I will do my best to support them over the months I remain at the Lab. For me, the deep involvement of Epstein in the life of the Media Lab is something that makes my work impossible to carry forward there.
    To clarify a couple of things, since I haven’t actually been able to control the release of information here:
    – I am not resigning because I had any involvement with Epstein. Joi asked me in 2014 if I wanted to meet Epstein, and I refused and urged him not to meet with him. We didn’t speak about Epstein again until last Friday.
    – I don’t have another university that I’m moving to or another job offer. I just knew that I couldn’t continue the work under the Media Lab banner. I’ll be spending much of this year – and perhaps years to come – seeing if there’s another place to continue this work. Before I would commit to moving the work elsewhere at MIT, I would need to understand better whether the Institute knew about the relationship with Epstein and whether they approved of his gifts.
    – I’m not leaving tomorrow. That wouldn’t be responsible – I have classes I am committed to teaching and students who are finishing their degrees. I plan to leave at the end of this academic year.
    – My first priority is taking care of my students and staff, who shouldn’t have to suffer because Joi made a bad decision and I decided I couldn’t live with it. My second priority is to help anyone at the Media Lab who wants to turn this terrible situation into a chance to make the Lab a better place. That includes Joi, if he’s able to do the work necessary to transform the Media Lab into a place that’s more consistent with its stated values.
    I’m aware of the privilege that it’s been to work at a place filled with as much creativity and brilliance as the Media Lab. But I’m also aware that privilege can be blinding, and can cause people to ignore situations that should be simple matters of right and wrong. Everyone at the Media Lab is going through a process of figuring out how they should react to the news of Epstein and his engagement with the Lab. I hope that everyone else gets to do it first with their students and teams before doing it in the press.

  • La-La Land Takes a Stand Against the Law Law Law

    by Lissa Soep

    Earlier this year, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a law effectively banning abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. Needless to say, reproductive rights advocates were very upset, and they weren’t the only ones. Media giants including Netflix, Disney, NBC Universal, Sony and CBS threatened to reconsider all affiliations with states that approve of “heartbeat bills” like Georgia’s. The first TV show to drop plans for filming in the state was Amazon’s “The Power.” Director Reed Morano told Time Magazine, “There is no way we would ever bring our money to that state by shooting there.” 

    These days, it’s not surprising for big brands, like Target and Gillette, to use products or advertising to establish their wokeness. But the move by studios and streaming services to boycott locations linked to politics they don’t support? That’s an as-yet unproven and controversial tactic Hollywood is using to take a stand. 

    As we keep an eye on future developments around the Georgia ban set for 2020, we thought we’d also take a look back. What can we learn from recent moves by Hollywood to change the world, one red carpet — or Twitter thread — at a time?

    1. Actresses wear black to the 2018 Golden Globes 

    Meryl Streep, America Ferrera, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis and other stars wore black to the 2018 award show to stand in solidarity with sexual assault survivors. While the move raised awareness of the Times Up campaign, just a couple months later Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a United States Supreme Court justice despite very public allegations of misconduct. 

    2. We Are All Dreamers campaign 

    After President Trump threatened to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which offers protections to children of undocumented parents, celebrities including Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mark Ruffalo posted pictures of themselves wearing “We Are All Dreamers” t-shirts. Hard to say whether the display of support made a difference, but the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hold off until its next term to weigh in on whether the Dream Act will continue.  

    3. Supporting stricter gun laws after Parkland 

    When Florida lawmakers failed to ban assault rifles after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Ben Platt, Jenna Fischer and Alyssa Milano were among the celebrities who praised student activists or joined March for Our Lives demonstrations. Since then, activism has spread. After the March, other campaigns such as Road For Change are bringing gun activism to all parts of the country. 4. Protesting the “border crisis”

    From ICE raids to inhumane detention centers to family separations, there’s plenty for celebrities to speak out about on immigration rights. While many take to social media to protest, some are actually traveling to the border to provide aid. Actresses Evan Rachel Wood, Lena Dunham, Constance Wu and others have visited, offered support and donated materials to families. Despite the “cancellation” of the family-child separation policy, children at the border are still being separated and serious reform has yet to happen. Social media has been promoting the Know Your Rights Campaign and stories of those being mistreated at the border. 

    Celebrity platforms reach far and wide, which is why a simple tweet can spur a political movement. In Georgia, the ACLU is suing to stop the fetal heartbeat ban from ever going into effect. As the studios that have taken a public stand against it decide where to shoot their shows, fans will be watching.
    The post La-La Land Takes a Stand Against the Law Law Law appeared first on YR Media.

  • 5 Things You Missed in Music Business News

    by Money Maka

    Things are constantly changing in the music industry and it’s important to stay on top of trends and news updates, especially as an independent artist. We’ve got you covered with a weekly recap of the top stories you need to know.

    SoundExchange Creates Website To Help Podcasters License Featured Music

    SoundExchange is collabing with PodcastMusic.com to develop a quick and easy shopping experience for podcasters. The project will launch next year and will provide licensing for publisher-owned as well as label-owned music. They will also provide global licensing to feature music in a podcast including: performance, synchronization, mechanical rights and master use.

    De La Soul Battling And Boycotting Ex Label Tommy Boy Over Their Catalog And Royalties

    Legendary hip-hop group De La Soul are battling with their ex-label over unpaid royalties and more. They’ve been unable to reach a compromise which is why a chunk of the group’s catalog isn’t available on many streaming platforms. The group stated the following in a social media post: “We’ve been unable to reach an agreement and earn Tommy Boy’s respect for our music/legacy.” They’ve urged their fans to boycott their music on streaming platforms since everyone involved EXCEPT for them will benefit and receive profit from the streams.

    Cardi B, Master P, French Montana and More Sued Over  DJ JMK “Choppa Style” Sample

    Producer DJ JMK is suing Cardi B, City Girls and French Montana for copyright infringement over “Choppa Style.” The song was sampled in Cardi B and City Girls’ “Twerk,” as well as Yo Gotti and French Montana’s  “Oh Yeah.” Kirk Edwards aka DJ JMK is looking to collect a couple of bags from the artists who illegally sampled his track.

    Drake Brings In 9th #1 Album With “Care Package”

    Drake’s newest project entitled “Care Package” recently debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. That makes it his ninth #1 studio album! “Care Package” is also the first #1 album off Drake’s new label, OVO Sound.

    Apple Music Reveals New Tool For Artist Managers That Provides Detailed Streaming Data

    Apple unveiled a free tool for artist managers that provides detailed information about artists’ streaming data and guess what?…it’s free! Apple Music for Artists, which debuted on Apple Music, provides daily data on who’s listening, what they’re listening to, where they’re listening from and more. Apple literally thought of everything…it even includes artists’ Shazam data! Apple also stated that they’ve been working on this project for years in order to get it right, accepting and requesting feedback from multiple artists.
    The post 5 Things You Missed in Music Business News appeared first on YR Media.

  • Social Media Polling for a Sense of Self

    by Rohit Reddy

    The post Social Media Polling for a Sense of Self appeared first on YR Media.

  • The Lowdown: Trump’s New Sneaky Green Card Rule

    by Chaz H

    Every week, Malachi gives you the lowdown on news you need to know. This week, he explores why people are drinking bleach … again, how an invasive banana fungus may soon change your morning smoothie ritual and, finally, how the Trump admin may be targeting lower-income Green Card holders. 
    The post The Lowdown: Trump’s New Sneaky Green Card Rule appeared first on YR Media.

  • How to Follow Through with Your Marathon

    by Yared Gebru

    August 15th marks the late Nipsey Hussle’s 34th birthday. Nipsey Hussle’s impact on his community is immeasurable. His legacy inspired South Central and beyond, creating countless opportunities for those in his community. His career emblematizes perseverance, Nipsey showed that even with all the odds against you, you can win. He showed us that no matter your circumstances, you can create the tools you need to succeed. His clothing store, The Marathon, was proof of that, as was his music career.

    As an independent artist who was catapulted to the masses by his like-minded fans, Nipsey’s legacy stands tall. The Marathon mantra continues to serve as a blueprint for those who are starting to embark on their own. 

    In honor of Nipsey’s legacy, we asked young people at YR Media about Nipsey’s marathon and what their marathon looks like. 

    Will Flattery-Vickness, Photographer

    Marathon: Learning to express myself

    In the beginning, it was Nipsey’s passion that caught my attention. Even in his lyrics, he preaches about his pride for his neighborhood. The bravery when it comes to standing up for what he believes in. There are so many examples from his life, like how he bought a whole business park and hired people from his community — that shouldn’t be ignored.

    Nipsey’s legacy has impacted my creativity in the way that it kind of made me think about being as honest as possible in every art form that I participate in. My marathon is being able to fully express myself while being less sensitive and defensive to take comments as constructive feedback. I think that both improves my wellbeing and how others see me. The support from friends and family is what motivates me on my marathon, which I definitely think is why Nipsey got to be as successful as he was. 

    Annie King, Singer 

    Marathon – Each one teach one/Never give up 

    Nipsey wasn’t afraid to be himself despite his background and being in a gang. He still had morals and things he actually stood for. That didn’t change with his success. He always told you to be yourself and to work for it. He always said it was either hidden or it’s known. He wants you to go for your dreams, stand for what you believe in and don’t be afraid to do that —to stand in your truths.

    You can’t allow anybody to define you, you have to define yourself for yourself. Don’t let these titles define you, you define yourself. I think that’s something I would uphold on my own. Me, myself and I. I don’t know how I would describe my own marathon, because, honestly, I’m still running it. Honestly, inspiring others and sharing wisdom to my friends or anyone willing to take it as I learn and grow.

    My wisdom is bigger. I know that sounds cliche, but I’ve been motivating myself my whole life. That will never change, so it’s me, myself and I. My growing and glowing process. My dreams and aspirations. I have big dreams. I feel like it’s bigger than me already, I know that I’m going to touch a lot of people. I already know…and as long as I already know, I have to keep going so that when I get there, I can say I did it.

    Jordan Gill, Musician

    Marathon: Spreading love and peace 

    I just want to be able to take care of myself and my family — like Nipsey with Lauren London. He took care of her children even though they weren’t his blood. It takes a lot for someone to do that. That amount of selflessness, love, and trust is hard to find these days. So my marathon is one that is going to be focused toward peace, love and compassion.

    My family motivates me to stick to my own path. I appreciate their love because not very many people get it. So, I hold them close. Nipsey’s career made me open up more. A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have even done this interview with you. Honestly, I used to be closed off and didn’t talk about how I felt. Nipsey helped me open up to the world.

    Jessica “Money Maka” Brown

    Marathon: Being true to my vision and myself

    I would just say the fact that he was so young and had a lot of knowledge that he was trying to pass onto his community for sure caught my attention. His mindset was “go buy yourself some property and invest. Invest in your community. Put your people on.” It kind of made me want to talk about some more real topics. Not talking about what everybody talks about — cars and money and all that.

    I want to talk about some deeper things now. I want to bring Oakland closer together. I mean, Oakland is already pretty close but I feel like we’re kind of losing touch now. I feel like Oakland just isn’t as intact as it was back in the day.  I would say that I think my marathon is to get people to care about what I’m doing, or why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m a female rapper from the Bay and I go stupid, and I just want people to rock with true talent.
    The post How to Follow Through with Your Marathon appeared first on YR Media.

  • Where the 2020 Democratic Candidates Stand on Gun Control

    by Nancy Deville

    Recent deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio have Americans on edge, provoking fear, anger and grief in communities across the country. This year alone, at least 59 people in the U.S. have been killed in mass shootings, according to a database on mass shootings maintained by Mother Jones. 

    In the wake of this constant stream of tragedies, young voters are asking: which presidential candidate will take action on gun violence if they win in 2020? And will their ideas reduce gun deaths and mass killings? 

    Focusing on five hopefuls vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination, YR Media examined policy proposals and what the candidates have said about gun control before and after the attacks in El Paso and Dayton. 

    The candidate: Joe Biden

    The policy: Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading the polls in the primary race, does not currently have a gun policy platform on his website. But on Sunday, he wrote in The New York Times that he would reinstate bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, citing his efforts to pass the original legislation in 1994. 

    To make the ban more effective, Biden said, his administration would push for a universal backgrounds check bill and implement a voluntary buyback program to get assault weapons off the streets. The candidate has touted his reputation as a politician who “stands up to the NRA” and the gun lobby.

    Thoughts and prayers won’t solve our broken gun laws. We need politicians with the courage to stand up to the powerful gun lobby and tell them that they don’t own this country.I’ve beaten the @NRA twice, and I’ll do it again in the White House.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 6, 2019

    The candidate: Cory Booker

    The policy: Even before the most recent massacres in Texas and Ohio, Sen. Cory Booker made gun violence a central issue in his campaign. Booker, who lives in a community plagued by violence in Newark, New Jersey, released his 14-point plan in May, pledging to “end the gun violence epidemic” by creating a federal gun licensing program, banning assault weapons and limiting buyers to one handgun per month, among other proposals. 

    The licensing program would require prospective gun owners to pass a comprehensive FBI background check and provide proof of completion of a gun safety course before they could receive a license, which would be valid for up to five years with the option to renew. Ten states have already implemented “permit to purchase” systems that require gun buyers to obtain a license or permit before buying at least some firearms, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

    How we #EndGunViolence: federal gun licensing program universal background checks ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks close loopholes that allow domestic abusers & people on terrorist watchlists to buy gunsMy full plan: https://t.co/PxlqlrwFmR— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 11, 2019

    The candidate: Kamala Harris

    The policy: If elected president, Sen. Kamala Harris says she would give Congress 100 days to send “comprehensive gun safety legislation” to her desk, including universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and the repeal of a bill that gives gun manufacturers immunity from lawsuits. Most notably, the former California attorney general said she’d revoke the licenses of gun manufacturers and dealers who break the law and collect fines for up to $500,000 per violation.

    This week, Harris released more policy proposals regarding her goals of “disarming the threat” of domestic terrorism and white supremacists. The plan would give federal courts the power to issue “domestic terrorism prevention orders,” which would give law enforcement the ability to temporarily seize the gun of a person who may imminently perpetrate a hate crime or terrorist act. 

    Whether at a festival, place of worship, school, movie theater, or Walmart, you should always be able to feel safe. As president, I’ll give Congress 100 days to send gun safety legislation to my desk. If they refuse to act, I’ll take executive action to protect our communities.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 7, 2019

    The candidate: Beto O’Rourke

    The policy: For Beto O’Rourke, the tragedy in El Paso was deeply personal. The former Texas Senate candidate previously represented the city in the House of Representatives and is a fierce defender of its residents against criticism from President Donald Trump. 

    If elected, O’Rourke says he would not hesitate to take executive action to reverse Trump administration policies that permit “fugitives to purchase guns” and allow access to 3D printing of plastic guns. Beyond echoing Democratic calls for closing loopholes that give domestic abusers the ability to buy firearms, O’Rourke said he would increase funding for communities affected by gun violence and advocate for the passage of “red flag laws,” which allow law enforcement to prevent people who pose an imminent danger to themselves or others from keeping their firearms. In an interview with Pod Save America after the El Paso shooting, O’Rourke said he was open to supporting a mandatory gun buyback program and a gun licensing system. 

    After the Santa Fe shooting, I reached out to students who survived it and parents whose children did not. After Saturday, they reached out to me. Whenever I start to lose hope, I remember their strength. If we follow the lead of these young people, I know we can end this crisis.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 6, 2019

    The candidate: Elizabeth Warren

    The policy: Just a week after the shootings, Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced her plan to reduce gun deaths by 80 percent through a combination of legislation and executive action. Those executive actions would include stricter background check requirements, raising the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21 and investigating the National Rifle Association. 

    Alongside calls for a gun licensing system, an assault weapons ban and a $100 million annual investment in gun research, Warren echoed her calls for “sweeping anti-corruption legislation” to remove NRA influence from politics and to eliminate the filibuster in the Senate, which would lower the threshold to pass bills from 60 votes to a simple majority, or 51 votes. 

    Gun violence is a public health crisis. That’s why I have a comprehensive gun violence prevention plan—a plan to make big, structural changes to end the NRA and corrupt lawmakers’ ability to block our government from defending the lives of our people. https://t.co/fcDY6hZzdI— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 10, 2019

    The post Where the 2020 Democratic Candidates Stand on Gun Control appeared first on YR Media.

  • ‘Taking What We Can Get’: People of Color in Therapy

    by Rohit Reddy

    The post ‘Taking What We Can Get’: People of Color in Therapy appeared first on YR Media.

  • All Day Playlist 8.14.19

    by Rohit Reddy

    The post All Day Playlist 8.14.19 appeared first on YR Media.

  • Play of the Day: Lazers #11

    by Rohit Reddy

    The post Play of the Day: Lazers #11 appeared first on YR Media.