Game, Set, Match: Shaping Publics to Shape Movements

Course Description

Wen Ho Lee was a Los Alamos scientist held in solitary confinement under suspicion of spying on behalf of China. After 278 days of imprisonment, 58 of 59 charges were dismissed, and presiding Judge James Parker issued an apology to Mr. Lee and a condemnation of the executive branch’s conduct, an “embarrassment to our entire nation and each of us who is a citizen in it.” News media reporting focused on the evidence, the investigation, and Attorney General Janet Reno’s role. The occasional nod was given to Cecilia Chang and her advocacy organization WenHoLee.org (renamed Justice For New Americans ). Outside of Chang’s small circle, little was discussed about the media advocacy that shaped the movement calling for Mr. Lee’s release. In this course, students will not only come to understand that specific activism, they will work to shape public awareness of a civil rights issue through the lens of their choice.

Main Assignments

  • Analysis: students will analyze the role the public must play in advancing their issue.
  • Video: students will produce a video – whether PSA, Op-Doc, music video, or short film – to persuade the public and news media to engage in their topic through the lens of their choice.
  • Website: students will develop and publish a website of resources and interventions while taking advantage of the opportunities digital media provides.