PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: #IAMMOREBMORE
#IamMoreBmore is a social movement for the youth, by the youth that launched in June 2019. Through media, this campaign aims to change the narrative of youth - specifically in Baltimore - to highlight positive stories that often go unheard. Below is a Q&A with two of the leaders of this movement, Chamia and Lacee. They were both Urban Alliance interns placed with Wide Angle Youth Media for spring - summer, 2019.
What issue is being addressed or population is being served?
Chamia: In the media, youth are almost always portrayed as criminals or wild animals. We focus on proving to the media and many adults that youth in Baltimore are capable of doing great things by sharing their talents and ideas on social media for the world to see. Doing this shows youth that their voice matters and shows adults that not all of us are looking for trouble.
Why did you choose this topic/project?
Lacee: This project launched after the Inner Harbor incidents back in May. A few teens were fighting in the harbor and that was blown out of proportion in the media. The Baltimore Police Department then proceeded to tweet to police officers saying that they should always protect themselves and each other. The page encouraged the officers not to let the status of the teens “just being kids” defer them from their jobs. This tweet outraged many people in Baltimore. However our team took this opportunity to speak for the youth of Baltimore and build a new platform for them to share their stories.
What were some of your most challenging moments and what made them so?
Lacee: Some of our most challenging moments were in the beginning of our campaign. We began thinking that our page would take off like a rocket since the page was new and for the youth, by the youth. However, that was not the case, because that is not how social media campaigns work. We could not just post anything and wait for our target audience to come to us. We had to reach out to youth in Baltimore and ask them to follow us and we had to promote our movement expeditiously.
How did you approach those challenges?
Chamia: Tons of research. Google was our best friend. We had to search for different techniques to engage young people in posts and ways to reach our target audience.
What would you do differently if you were to approach the same project again?
Chamia: I’d make it a little more organized. I feel like there were too many hands in the pot and it truly showed on our page. Everyone has different editing styles and caption styles but we should work on making I Am More Bmore its own identity not multiple identities within this one - if that makes sense.
What moments were you most proud of your efforts?
Lacee: We are proud of the impact of our posts. We have been making great impressions with our posts. I personally like all of our discussion videos and our Wonderful Women Wednesdays because those are when our followers are most involved.
How will you use what you’ve learned in the future?
Chamia: Since I'd like to be an entrepreneur, when I go to build my brand through social media, I have a leg up in understanding what it takes to engage people on social media and get people interested in my niche.
What message do you want to make sure that your reader understands from this project?
Chamia: Youth voices matter.
MEET THE AUTHORS
Chamia is a freshman at Coppin State University where she is majoring in Health Information Management. In her spare time she likes to film and edit videos.
Lacee is a freshman at University of Baltimore where she is majoring in Psychology in hopes of pursuing a career as a psychiatrist. Her hobbies include designing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.