The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), WACC’s flagship initiative since 1995, will receive the Donald H. McGannon Award at the United Church of Christ’s 37th annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture and Awards Breakfast October 17, in Washington, D.C.
The GMMP is being recognized for its “special contributions to advancing the role of women and persons of color in the media.”
The project is the largest advocacy initiative in the world seeking to improve the representation of women in the news. Every five years since 1995, the GMMP has conducted the longest-running longitudinal study of gender in the world’s news media, including such metrics as the numbers of women versus men, gender bias, and gender stereotyping in content. It involves participants ranging from grass-roots observers to academic researchers to media practitioners, all of whom serve on a volunteer basis. Its next survey in 2020 is expected to involve volunteers in 130 countries.
"We are delighted and honored by this recognition of the GMMP and its impact on media representations of women," said WACC General Secretary Philip Lee. "A guiding light in WACC, Everett C. Parker was a staunch advocate of the social justice promoted in our communication work worldwide."
Sarah Macharia, global GMMP coordinator and WACC’s gender and communication manager, will attend the Parker Lecture and accept the award on behalf of WACC. Macharia was the principal author of the 2010 and 2015 GMMP reports and co-editor of the UNESCO-published “Setting the gender agenda for communication policy” (2019). She represents WACC on the board of the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG), initiated by UNESCO to follow up on the implementation of the media recommendations (Section J) of the UN 1995 Beijing Platform for Action for the Advancement of Women.
The lecture will also present the Everett C. Parker Award to Cayden Mak, executive director of 18MillionRising.org, in recognition of his work to provide a voice to persons of color and underrepresented communities. Mak’s organization is a digital civic engagement hub for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Previously, Mak was chief technology officer for VoterVOX, a tool designed to help locate volunteer translation services for voters with limited proficiency in English. Mak was a cofounder of youngist.org, New York Students Rising, and an officer and staff organizer for the Communications Workers of America.
The Rev. Julian De Shazier, senior pastor of University Church in Chicago, will deliver this year’s Parker Lecture. DeShazier, under the name J.Kwest, is an Emmy-winning hip-hop artist, featured in the video “Strange Fruit.” He is a faculty member at McCormick Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago Divinity School. DeShazier has been recognized by the Center for American Progress as one of “10 Faith Leaders to Watch” in 2018 and by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of “40 under 40” leaders in that city.
The Parker Lecture was created in 1982 to recognize the Rev. Dr. Parker’s pioneering work as an advocate for the public's rights in broadcasting. Parker, a former director of WACC, founded the UCC’s Office of Communication, Inc., 60 years ago to successfully challenge the broadcast license of a Jackson, Mississippi, television station for failing to serve the public interest and cover the local African-American community.
The subsequent court battle established the right of ordinary citizens to participate in regulatory proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission. Today, those battles continue around such issues as Net Neutrality, prison telephone rate reform, and broadcast industry consolidation.
The Parker Lecture is the only event of its kind in the United States to examine telecommunications in the digital age from an ethical lens.
The Parker Lecture and Awards Breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.