North American Chapter of Global MIL Alliance Kicks Off

Oct 31, 2016

A group of media and information literacy educators and organizations representing a broad

range of sectors met in London, Ontario at Western University on Sept. 20 and 21, 2016 to form

the North American Sub-Chapter of the UNESCO-initiated

Global Alliance for Partnerships onMedia and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) network.

Through GAPMIL, organizations from over eighty countries have agreed to join forces and

work together on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) initiatives that cross cultural

barriers and enhance global dialogue and cooperation. Together, the organizations

promote capacity building and support MIL in homes, schools and communities through

initiatives that reinforce education and civic participation.

MIL is essential for life and work in the 21st century. MIL requires that students, teachers and all

citizens understand the roles and functions of media and information providers, and that they

possess basic skills to analyze and use media and information for self-expression, to become

independent learners and critical thinkers, and to participate in the social, cultural, civic and

economic processes of their societies. MIL incorporates the values of UNESCO with its emphasis

on ethical interactions, intercultural dialogue, active citizenship and technological competencies.

The North American Sub-Chapter, in concert with the European Sub-Chapter, shares the

objectives to which UNESCO is committed:

-Learning To Live Together

-Education For The 21st Century

-Building Knowledge Societies

-Protecting Our Heritage And Fostering Creativity

-Fostering Freedom Of Expression

-Preventing Violent Extremism

-Promoting Pluralism and Diversity

GAPMIL promotes collaboration among organizations, universities, associations, research groups, educators, community activists, media professionals, information specialists, librarians, policy makers and regulators, NGOs and general practitioners to develop and disseminate MIL programs and materials at a national and international level.“Without the competencies connected to an expanded definition of literacy, people will be significantly disadvantaged and disempowered in the digital age,” says Carolyn Wilson, the Global Chair of GAPMIL. “Better-informed citizens can participate more fully in the democratic processes of their countries, and with this group we’re looking forward to helping bring the North American perspective to the global conversation.”

Represented at the inaugural meeting were a number of organizations and institutions including:

U.S. Participants:

Gateway Media Literacy Partners, Inc.

Blackburn College, Illinois

National Telemedia Council

NCTA – The Internet and Television Association

Temple University, Center for Media and Information Literacy

Central Michigan University

Center for Media Literacy

National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE)

The Association of College and Research Libraries; International Federation of

Library Associations and Institutions

Canadian Participants:

Association for Media Literacy

Ontario Ministry of Education

Western University, Ontario

Lakehead University, Ontario

TELUQ, Université du Québec

Technology Enabled Learning Ontario

Branksome Hall, Toronto

MediaSmarts, Ottawa

Western University, Ontario

UNESCO, via Skype

The North American GAPMIL Sub-Chapter is open to all institutions, organizations or initiatives in

Canada and the United States interested in advancing media and information literacy around the

continent. If you are interested, please send a message to that includes

your name; your location; the institution, organization or initiative you represent; and any

further contact information you wish to share. For more information on what we are doing, join

our Facebook group: North American GAPMIL. Also, please join the GAPMIL network by going to


The next meeting of the North America Sub-Chapter of GAPMIL will be held within the frame of

the UNESCO-led Global MIL Week 2016 and its feature event, the Sixth Media and Information

Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Conference and the first General Assembly of the

Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy on Nov. 2-5, 2016 in Sao

Paulo, Brazil. The feature event is hosted by the University of Sao Paulo.

In 2017, the GAPMIL North America Sub-Chapter will meet on June 26 in Chicago, IL in advance

of the National Association of Media Literacy Education’s (NAMLE) biennial conference.