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[VIRTUAL] Digital Health and Connection: How Media Literacy Can Bridge Divides

False information about public health and the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine has targeted and spread insidiously within Asian American circles and disrupted the way that families and communities connect and keep each other safe, but we can use media literacy skills to help members of the community meaningfully discern what information is accurate. Join Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC and PEN America for a workshop and discussion on how to tackle the spread and effects of misinformation by having constructive conversations and embracing trusted in-language media.

Information voids, lack of regulation, and existing distrust can offer easy inroads for disinformation to infiltrate group chats and newsfeeds, forcing readers to fill in the gaps for themselves. Moreover, non-English language sites largely do not receive the fact-checking treatment that national news outlets do, so communities that rely on ethnic media in other languages for their news are consistently short-changed.

In this 75-minute session, we’ll discuss the misinformation landscape and the best practices for keeping AAPI communities healthy and accurately informed:

  • How misinformation can target and spread within AAPI communities and messaging apps, and pit different communities of color against each other
  • The role that historical traumas, institutional distrust, and emotions can play in the proliferation of disinformation
  • Proactive strategies for intergenerational communication within family units about misleading online content
  • Tools and techniques to source accurate information, read beyond the headlines, spot doctored images, and verify content online in different languages
  • The importance of uplifting community journalists as trusted messengers who understand their readers’ experience

During the discussion portion of our session, participants will have an opportunity to ask PEN America media literacy experts and AAPI doctors any questions they might have about the vaccine, how to approach those who may be misinformed, or anything else.

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Co-sponsored by OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates and APIAVote.

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PEN America’s 2021 Community Partnership Programs are supported by Facebook.


Follow-Up Resources

After the workshop, check back here for a link to a resource packet to dive deeper into strategies for spotting and stopping misinformation and more community resources for seeding media literacy skills.


Featured Presenters

Cookie Duong headshotCookie Duong is the co-founder of “Người Thông Dịch,” or “The Interpreter” which aims to build a bridge between elder communities and younger generations of Vietnamese Americans and to empower Vietnamese people across the diaspora to participate in the political process of their adopted countries. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s in International Relations and Global Business. Cookie currently works as a risk consultant for a Fortune 500 firm.

Rupali Limaye headshotRupali J. Limaye, PhD, MPH, MA, serves as a full-time faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in the Departments of International Health, Epidemiology, and Health, Behavior and Society. Widely seen as an expert in vaccine behavior and decision-making, including vaccine hesitancy and acceptance, she serves as the Director of Behavioral and Implementation Science at the International Vaccine Access Center, as well as the Associate Director for Behavioral Research at the Institute for Vaccine Safety. Primarily focusing on infectious diseases, Dr. Limaye is a social and behavioral scientist and health communication scholar. Her mixed-method work examines how various influences affect health behavior and how to leverage those influences to affect positive behavior change. She also studies how health information can best be communicated to individuals in different contexts and through different channels. In her 15 years of working in global health, she has worked in more than 20 countries from both research and implementation perspectives, on topics including immunization, family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and alcohol, and teaches classes on health behavior change and persuasive communication. She received her PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also holds an MPH in global health, an MA in international affairs, a BA in political science, and a BS in journalism.

Damaso Reyes headshot

Damaso Reyes (he/him) is a media literacy expert and consultant for PEN America and has been an independent journalist for more than 20 years. He has been published by The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Magazine, Der Spiegel, the Miami Herald, Forbes, and The Irish Times. Previous assignments and projects have taken him to countries, including Rwanda, Indonesia, Tanzania, and throughout the United States and Europe.

If you tweet about the event, be sure to tag our Twitter handles @AAAJ_AAJC and @penamerica.

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