14 Oct 2022 WACC partner forum to focus on communication rights as cornerstone for social justice in Latin America
WACC project partners from across Latin America will explore the fundamental role that communication rights play in building more just, sustainable societies when they meet on 18–21 October 2022 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Titled “Communication: Cornerstone of Social Justice,” the gathering will bring together some 30 communication rights and sustainable development organizations throughout the region that receive support through WACC’s Communication for All (CAP) program. Co-organizer is the regional ecumenical communications agency ALC.
The forum comes at a crucial time for the communication rights movement in Latin America, according to Lorenzo Vargas, WACC program manager for communication for social change.
“The region has recently seen a new wave of progressive governments seeking to build more equitable societies. This creates a window of opportunity to champion changes to existing media-related legislation and policy in an effort to move towards greater democratic participation and increased transparency.”
Sharing Knowledge to Drive Change
Gisele Langendries, WACC project officer and staff liaison for Latin America, noted that the consultation offers a much-needed platform for WACC project partners to network, share knowledge and best practices, and engage in discussions at a regional level about communication rights and sustainable development.
“WACC partners work shoulder to shoulder with grassroots communities to promote social justice through communication and media. The knowledge and learning coming out of these processes is essential to make development efforts across the board more locally driven so that truly sustainable change is possible.”
Panels discussions will take an in-depth look at how communications rights intersect with five dimensions of social justice—gender justice, climate justice, digital justice, migrants’ rights, and Indigenous peoples’ rights. Participants also will consider the role of environmental journalism and ways to ensure diverse and inclusive communication.
Strengthening Communication Rights in Latin America
WACC General Secretary Philip Lee highlighted that Latin America has long been at the forefront of the communication rights movement and has a long tradition of critical scholarship on communication theory and community-led efforts to make communication for all a lived reality for even the most marginalized sections of society.
“WACC is proud to be part of the movement for communication rights in the region and looks forward to learning and connecting in person with our partners when we meet in Buenos Aires.”
Communication for all in the host country will be a main agenda item, with a public discussion on media and gender justice in Argentina and visits to organizations that have defended the right to public memory following the end of the military dictatorship.
The consultation in Argentina is the first WACC project partner gathering since the start of the pandemic and the first with a regional focus. A similar forum for project partners in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe is slated for the first half of 2023.
WACC’s CAP program awards small grants over a three-year cycle to up to 60 organizations that are promoting communication as a human right and sustainable development at a community level. It is funded by Bread for the World-Germany.