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  • Writer's pictureSrivi Ramasubramanian

2020 Mid-Year Letter from the Executive Director

Updated: May 21, 2020

Dear Media Rise supporters and collaborators, I hope you're healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. While quarantined here in Texas, I wanted to share some reflections on Media Rise's journey so far and some updates.

Almost exactly seven years ago, we launched Media Rise in London to coincidence with the ICA conference. The Meet the Pro(f)s event was a big success, bringing together media educators, cause-driven creatives, industry professionals, and nonprofit leaders.

We continue to connect people and ideas to promote meaningful media for social change through community-based media initiatives such as the week-long Media Rise Festival, Youth Media Rise, 48-hour video challenge, Networking Lounge, Pitch Night, Forum, and Early Rise events. Looking back, we're proud of what we've built together. The 100% volunteer-driven Media Rise has awarded more than $8,000 in cash prizes, plus countless hours and dollars of pro bono consultation and in-kind support, to people who are using media for social good. We have convened more than 3,000 people and 200 speakers through 60+ events in four countries to build meaningful connections for future collaborations and projects. We produced 13 videos to support local D.C. nonprofits. We have hosted a dozen Early Rise speaker series inspiring people in London, Chicago, Austin, Chennai, and Singapore to unleash the power of media to accelerate social change.

The 2020 Media Rise community impact report can now be downloaded here.

You can view our previous community reports, testimonials, and cosponsorship information on our Impact page here.

None of this would have been possible without your encouragement and support. We thank our cosponsors, collaborators, speakers, attendees, and most of all our wonderful team of volunteers who have made this initiative a success.

As our organization evolves, Erica has transitioned off the leadership team of Media Rise in 2016 and continues sharing her expertise on driving social impact through storytelling and design in Los Angeles. Mandar has devoted his energies to his impactful documentary film "From India with Love," inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, which focuses on nonviolence and healing.

We look forward to your continued support as we start our new initiative, "Quarantined Across Borders," a blog series and e-book about meaningful media stories from around the world during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Please submit your entry by midnight Pacific time on May 15, 2020. See the full call here.

Please follow us on social media at mediarisenow on Facebook, Instagram and twitter to read and share these inspiring, meaningful, and thought-provoking stories from Ghana to France to India to Brunei about lockdown experiences, especially focusing on the idea of borderlands.

Now more than ever it is time for us to come together to use the power of storytelling and media for social justice, empathy-building, and collective healing. If you see any opportunities for collaboration, please reach out to me at

Rise with us!


Executive Director and Co-Founder, Media Rise

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