Welcome the first Executive Digital Media for Social Impact Strategy Cohort

Mandisa Thomas
February 15, 2022
Programs & Research

We welcomed the inaugural cohort for the Executive Program in Digital Media for Social Impact (DMSI) during a two-day orientation featuring CSIS staff members and guest lecturer Dr. Lindsay Green-Barber. The Center for Social Impact collaborated with the Annenberg School of Communication to create this executive program, and the cohort will have the pleasure to learn from faculty at Annenberg in addition to our great instructors at CSIS. The inaugural class includes professionals from various backgrounds, including activists, communication directors, CEOs, executive directors, journalists, and consultants. This class will not only master their digital tools but will also develop a digital practice that reflects their goals and values.

Dr. Rosemary Clark-Parsons, one of the instructors and creator of this executive program, welcomed the class and introduced Dr. Guobin Yang, another DMSI Instructor and faculty director of the Center on Digital Culture and Society. Managing Director Dr. Ariel Schwartz discussed teaching styles and what students should expect in the course, and practiced empathy. The cohort will benefit from the program by learning how to better connect with the community through learning action-oriented frameworks and the opportunity to work on assignments with others in their community or companies. Dr. Green-Barber facilitated a segment on vulnerability, and students dove deeper into their impact areas of focus. The cohort’s impact dreams include creating a more educated, equitable Philadelphia through literacy, breaking through digital redlining, and ending the wage gap through salary transparency.

On the second day, Dr. Green-Barber presented on identifying the target audience and content development. Afterward, she led the cohort in an exercise about audience mapping and identifying target audiences. Students pulled from past and current experiences during the activities and discussed their roadblocks in breakout sessions. She also discussed nonprofit and for-profit strategies for reaching diverse audiences through social media channels. The frameworks learned during orientation prepared students for the first core courses. Dr. Clark-Parsons closed the program with student takeaways, course expectations, and words of encouragement.

The cohort will work on projects centered around their social impact focus areas throughout the five months. A phenomenal teaching team will guide students through learning key concepts in communication and digital media, developing mission-aligned digital media practices, and other methods. By the end of the program, students will learn how to cultivate a unique digital voice and audience, develop a critical understanding of the limitations of digital technologies for social impact and have a chance to connect with their cohort community. We wish the first cohort of the Executive Program in Digital Media for Social Impact the best of luck! Follow this link if you are interested in learning more or applying for the next cohort.