2022: Place

During the 2022 Symposium in Miami, we discussed and explored the concept of place as a mechanism for how we understand the world around us.

Place commonly refers to a physical space, or position, in the world. Places often evoke structures, landscapes, geographies, and positions. Places are homes. Places are work. Places are nature. Places are communities. Place is how we navigate and understand our physical environments, and the relationships we have to those “places.” Increasingly, however, places are figurative. They embody the imagined communities, the imagined geographies, and the imagined positions of those located within virtual places, within the places of the mind. These places exist with different routines, different norms, and different guiding principles within which we find location. 

Places, beyond their makeups, are embedded with norms that guide our engagement in the world. Places hold power. Places are representations of the people and structures that are bound within them. Places, as such, are embedded in the relations of people to the world and others around them. This includes how place relates to equity, to oppression, to voice, and to agency to act in the world, in physical and figurative places.The 2022 Social Justice + Media Symposium explored the concept of place as a mechanism for how we understand the world around us, and the ways in which media help to document, share, and reflect places around us. The symposium brought together storytellers, media makers, community stakeholders, and activists to better understand the relationship between media narratives and our places. Sessions highlighted the struggles between media narrative and representation of place, and the opportunities for our stories to bring to light the enduring struggles of communities for more equitable and just futures.

Keynote Speaker

Betty Osceola

Betty Osceola is a Native American Everglades educator, conservationist, anti-fracking and clean water advocate. She is a member of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida from the Panther Clan. Osceola was born and raised in the Everglades. She is an airboat captain and the operator of Buffalo Tiger Airboat Tours on Tamiami Trail near Miami, Florida.


9:30 am

Coffee and Light Breakfast

10:00 am


Sallie Hughes, Maria Elena Villar

10:15 am

About Moses Shumow and SJ+M Symposium

Paul Mihailidis, Rose Shumow

10:30 am

Keynote "Etoletket, Finding Your Truth" by Betty Osceola

Introduced by Sanjeev Chatterjee

11:45 pm


12:00 pm

Deans' Forum: Social Justice in Communication Education

The Deans: Karin Wilkins, Raul Reis, and Brian Schriner

Moderated by Christopher Harris

1:00 pm

Lunch & Screening

Wade in the Water: Drowning in Racism

Q&A with director Cathleen Dean

2:00 pm


2:15 pm

Interactive Workshops

Global Classroom and Towards Community

3:15 pm

Awards Announcements & Closing Remarks

Transformational Research Award

3:45 pm


Featured Speaker

Cathleen Dean

Cathleen Dean is an Emmy award winning American film director, producer, and photographer who creates innovative work inspired by her experiences in South Florida. Dean captivates audiences by bringing her characters to life. She approaches her work from an anthropological point of view, aiming to uncover historical truths that have been lost, forgotten, or hidden with time. Dean is the Director of Arts and Theatre Performance for the L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center. She is most famous for her films Runway Afrique, Wade in the Water Drowning in Racism, and Being. She has received multiple awards such Roxbury Film Festival Best Documentary Short 2021, Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival Best Short Film Being 2019, Happy to be Nappy Cinemaslam Best use of archival footage (2019), Miami Fashion Film Festival Best Fashion Doc Runway Afrique. 

Featured Screening

Wade in the Water: Drowning in Racism

From seaweed to lost beach balls, sun-seekers bump into all sorts of surprises swimming along Florida’s iconic beaches. For black swimmers however, there’s a complex history floating off Florida’s blue waters—one of segregation and violence, but also one of protest and resistance. That’s what Miami filmmaker Cathleen Dean explores in her new documentary, “Wade in The Water: Drowning in Racism.” Diving deep into Black Florida’s fight for the right to swim, the film brings to life the 1960s Civil Rights protests that desegregated the state’s beaches and swimming pools.

Interactive Workshops

Global Classroom: Connecting the local to the global  

Students in an Advanced Documentary Global Classroom at the University of Miami discussed opportunities and challenges in the process of collaborating across borders with students dispersed around the globe and enrolled at Anant National University, India. Discussion focused on problem-solving, cross-cultural + asynchronous communication, and combining local stories to create a global narrative.


Led By:

Students: Marcia Fanti Negri, Marin Yang, John Murray, Zaire Cox, Lu Yi, and Paola Quijano 


Professor: Sanjeev Chatterjee

Towards Community: Field Guide for Equitable Media Literacy Practice  

The Lead Researcher on the Mapping Impactful Media Literacy Practices project facilitated an exploration of the newly published Field Guide for Equitable Media Literacy Practices for media literacy practitioners and educators looking to integrate more equitable and inclusive practices into their media literacy work. In this workshop, we explored and played with the field guide to see how it might be applied in diverse contexts.

Led By:

Student: Aaron Stier-Cohen


Professor: Paul Mihailidis



The following transit lines have routes that pass near Filmgate – Huntington Building:

01. By Bus

109, 110 

02. By Subway 

Southbound trains on the Green and Orange line

03. By Light Rail

Inner Loop, Omni Loop, Brickell Loop

04. Parking

Courtyard Marriott at 200 SE 2nd Street, Miami, FL 33131.

This is a SELF PARK GARAGE. Filmgate (our venue) has a partnership with this garage. Bring your ticket to the event and it will be validated.

Up to 4 hours = $5

Up to 8 hours = $10

Beyond 8 hours = $25

Filmgate - Downtown Media Center

Huntington Building

168 SE 1st street, 3rd floor, Miami, FL 33131

The Filmgate Downtown Media Center is located on the third floor of the Huntington Building

Partner Hotel Discount:

The Guild Downtown X Miami

Social Justice + Media Symposium Partners

Engagement Lab logo