A Teachable Moment in Sochi

A Teachable Moment in Sochi

This week, the United States will signal its opposition to anti-gay laws in Russia when a number of openly gay athletes join the official U.S. delegation at the Sochi Winter Olympics. By transforming the world’s greatest athletic stage into a powerful showcase for political equality and human rights, these athletes are guaranteed to inspire hundreds of millions of people around the world – while serving as a powerful reminder of the long line of activist athletes who came before them.

As attention turns to the Olympics on February 7, 2014, don’t miss cultural historian Dave Zirin’s stirring look at this tradition of activist athletes in Media Education Foundation’s film Not Just a Game: Power, Politics & American Sports.

Click here for film availability, study guide & links…

Screening of Consuming Kids in Easthampton

Reclaiming Childhood For Our Children From Corporate Marketers

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) invites families in Western Massachusetts to join them for a local screening of the critically-acclaimed film Consuming Kids, an eye-opening account of the pervasive and pernicious effects of advertising on the health and well-being of kids, at the Pepin School Auditorium (4 Park St.) in Easthampton, MA on Wednesday, November 17 at 6:30PM, hosted by the Easthampton PTO. The film is produced locally by the Northampton-based Media Education Foundation and features the CCFC staff and Steering Committee. The event is free and open to the public. Please click here to RSVP.

Consuming Kids zeroes in on the often shocking practices of the multibillion-dollar youth marketing industry, exposing how marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world. The film has been earning widespread praise from critics, health care professionals, and children’s advocates from around the country.

Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood

Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood
New Documentary Film Premiering in Northampton (2009)

The consumer embryo begins to develop during the first year of existence.  Children begin their consumer journey in infancy.  And they certainly deserve consideration as consumers at that time.

– James U. McNeal | Pioneering Youth Marketer

This unsettling quote by a “Pioneering Youth Marketer” opens the critically-acclaimed new documentary film, Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood. Produced locally by the Northampton-based Media Education Foundation (MEF), Consuming Kids zeroes in on the increasingly brazen practices of the multibillion-dollar youth marketing industry in the wake of deregulation, exposing how marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to target American children and transform them into one of the most influential and profitable consumer demographics in the world.

I was glued to my seat as I watched a review copy of this film, feeling the heat of anger rising up into my cheeks as I learned how marketers are scheming to influence my kid (our kids) to consume their products… for life! My family doesn’t watch commercial television in our home, so it shocked me to see the different television ads aimed at marketing to children, trying to sell them everything from junk food to the family car. But as the film reveals, advertising to our kids isn’t found just on the TV, it’s also found on the school bus, the classroom, cell phones, the internet, movies, and even churches. It’s insidious!

Offering a time-line tracing the evolution and impact of this unprecedented phenomenon, Consuming Kids illustrates how the childhood of American kids has become commercialized and explores how the effect of hyperconsumerism impacts the actual lived experiences of our children.

I think the thing that upsets me the most is that it’s not just products that are being marketed to children, but values. And the primary value that’s being sold to kids over and over and over again is the value that things or stuff or brands will make us happy.

– Susan Linn | Director, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

 

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