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DeAnne Cuellar
Director
Texas Media Empowerment Project
San Antonio, TX

http://www.texasMEP.org
deannec@texasmep.org
922 San Pedro Ave.
San Antonio, TX
Work: 210-228-0201

Summary:
Foundation-supported grassroots media action group

Below excerpted from Consider the Alternative by Joan Villa (http://www.freepress.net/news/8478):

Like many communities, San Antonio, Texas, has a split personality, says Latina student activist DeAnne Cuellar. Although Hispanics account for 70 percent of the population, they show up time and again in local news not for their achievements or leadership but in stories portraying crime, drugs, and violence.

"We felt misrepresentation is erasing our history, making people forget we exist in society," Cuellar says.

Instead of shrugging it off, Cuellar and others organized the Texas Media Empowerment Project to give Hispanics and "communities of color" the voice she felt they lacked. Today the project monitors local news channels to increase awareness of unbalanced reporting, supports new perspectives and alternative media, nurtures minority leaders, and encourages the community to participate in the news and set media policy.

Below excerpted from the Texas Media Empowerment website (http://texasmep.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4&Itemid=16〈=en):

TEXAS MEDIA EMPOWERMENT FAQ's

What is the TEXAS MEP?
Texas Media Empowerment Project means communities taking back the power to define themselves, their needs and their vision. It means empowering people with the knowledge and skills to make media work for justice in their communities. We are a co-op of individuals, grass-roots organizations, and volunteers, particularly people of color, women, queer LGBT and low-income people. Texas MEP meets to organize future special events and media empowerment projects at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Who are the Texas MEP participants?
Volunteers and co-organizers that encourage volunteerism, activism, environmentalism, and community awareness through media advocacy. Meetings provide an open space for attendees to collect information on programs promoting arts, culture, social justice, and political consciousness