Communities of Hope
Communities of Hope is a transformative journalism news service applying community-driven, engagement, solutions, solidarity, and reparatory journalism approaches to serve the most marginalized communities in Rhode Island and beyond.
We aim to provide communities out of the mainstream with access to media platforms, control over their own narratives and data, training in journalism and multimedia production, development of local media platforms and redress of historical harms caused by wrongful media representations.
Our goal is, through training, hiring, collaborating with, and paying above-market rates for marginalized populations to learn to produce news, features, investigations, and media art to improve their quality of lives, we can bring them into the mainstream decision-making process about their own communities.
We work with RWU students, high school students, local media organizations, non-profit organizations, and groups of people who need our work the most. Our main publics are those who can benefit the most from paid education, training, and consistent work such as refugees, formerly and currently incarcerated people (adults and youth), ethnic communities, Black communities, Latin-American communities, all immigrant and diaspora communities, Indigenous Nations and groups, disabled and chronic ill communities, trans people, other marginalized LGBTQIAA2S+ communities and persons, the houseless and other economically marginalized groups, etc.
What we do
We intentionally seek communities and groups that are usually ignored, erased and misrepresented by mainstream media and work with them to provide them with the information they need in the format that best attend to their needs. Instead of telling our communities what is important, we learn from them and go find useful and meaningful solutions and information to help build up our neighborhoods.
We pay community members to learn and work with our own students about how to do journalism and media production in benefit of the local communities. Check here for internships and jobs and here for training opportunities.
catalyst for solutions
Our goal is to bring added value to our communities by interacting and working with them towards finding ways to address issues, highlight what is working, and improve the community overall. One way we do that is through solutions journalism. By identifying solutions that have been implemented in the community by community members or investigating solutions that have been implemented elsewhere to see how they are really working (or not), we bring information and possibilities for our communities to choose from and to implement in their own way and to the benefit of their own members.
We also aim to hold as many community conversations, from informal face-to-face and one-on-one talks to specific events, to bring the community together around a shared priority for each community or group of people. This process is called community-driven journalism. We present the issue we identified from the people in the community, we present our findings on possible solutions, and we report on the processes to discuss and implement the solutions based on the community’s own decision-making processes. The goal is for the community to learn together from each other and from the solutions we have identified and make decisions on the best ways forward.
history and cultural contexts
History and culture are the underlying bond of a community. They bring people together and inform their identities in relation to the rest of the world. In Rhode Island, much of the local histories and cultures have been purposefully erased to center the white colonizing version of it. Only recently, we have started a process of Truth and Reconciliation with the local Indigenous, Black, Immigrant, and other populations that have been marginalized because of their important contributions to the history and culture of the Ocean State.
Our work in this field is to help local communities unearth their past and highlight their contributions to the local cultural contexts. We research archives, record oral histories, digitize old historical documents, and work with the communities to bring their rich histories and cultures back to the forefront of their educational curriculum, public spaces, and to the daily life of the communities for all to enjoy and participate with pride. Much of this work refined by Dr. Bernardo H. Motta in what we call transformative and transformational journalism.
Education and training
As part of our community-driven, solutions-oriented, transformative journalism approach, we provide training and education in journalism, media production, and community organizing for social and environmental justice. We pay individual community members who want to become a community journalist for the benefit of their own communities a base salary to get started without facing any more economic hardship for taking the time to learn. We also provide funding, training, and technical support for local freelancing journalists or small community-based organizations to help them produce community-driven solutions journalism stories. We also help distribute these stories whenever needed.
We intentionally recruit and seek those who would benefit the most from our work, especially members of communities who face a harder time finding paying jobs or proper work conditions that would allow them to work on their own time. We welcome members of the disability communities, refugees and members of diaspora communities, currently or formerly incarcerated folks trying to work to benefit their communities, retirees, and students. Contact us about both internships for high school students and creating or improving the media/journalism program at your local K-Graduate school.
Participate on our open training events here.