Before we became Movement Alliance Project, we were Media Mobilizing Project.
Many of Media Mobilizing Project’s founders came out of the welfare and homeless people’s organizing of the 1990s. Guided by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Poor People’s Campaign 40 years earlier, it was clear to MMP founders that nothing less than “a radical revolution of values” could bring about the change we would need.
Media Mobilizing Project was founded in 2005, when online video and social media were in their infancy. Inspired by the Zapatistas – a movement that organizes for justice for rural peasants in southern Mexico – and their call for an independent media, Media Mobilizing Project founders participated in the development of the Global Indymedia Network, building our own media in the hope of connecting mass social movements.
In those early years, our work was defined by organizing campaigns to stop gentrification and displacement win improved working conditions for service workers, gain citizenship for undocumented immigrants and obtain quality public schools for all. With a video camera in hand and a vision in heart, Media Mobilizing Project organized as both an intervention into the incomplete stories told about our communities and an invitation to build a network of community organizations working toward a shared vision of a more just world for us all.
Because “movements begin with the telling of untold stories”, Media Mobilizing Project documented and shared stories to connect movement leaders from organizations and communities across Philadelphia and beyond. MMP also trained those most impacted by our society’s failings to create their own media about their lives and struggles for justice.
From 2007 to 2011, early projects like Hope in Hard Times documented parents organizing to maintain Head Start, Driving the American Dream showed the struggle of taxi drivers squeezed by the industry, and the public access television show MMPtv highlighted the organizing of the day and the leaders of our movements. We were succeeding at documenting Philadelphia’s organizing campaigns and connecting leaders, but we realized our stories not only needed to be told, they needed to be heard.
Access to the media and the internet stood out as a core issue in sharing untold stories and connecting communities.
In 2011, Media Mobilizing Project led its first campaigns to define access to the internet as a human right. Media Mobilizing Project helped develop a citywide effort to invest stimulus money from the Great Recession into public computer centers and media literacy. Later, we turned our eyes to Comcast and pushed for corporate accountability in Comcast’s 2015 franchise agreement with Philadelphia.
From this foundation our work expanded. Media Mobilizing Project began to incubate new organizing projects, and new coalitions and campaigns formed from the stories Media Mobilizing Project told.
Around 2013, Media Mobilizing Project started to become a hub, beyond its original projects and tactics, able to support critical victories in our communities: we unseated Governor Corbett, whose legacy included massive cuts to education, we ended the state takeover of Philadelphia schools, and we campaigned both for a district attorney who would work to end mass incarceration and for a city council with leaders who would fight for justice.
In 2020, we are changing our name to reflect the whole of our work: introducing Movement Alliance Project.
Now, MAP continues to connect communities and build power for working families. We run strategic campaigns, lift up untold stories, and build infrastructure for the most vibrant community organizations in Philadelphia and around the country to win lasting power and a just society.
Todd Wolfson – President
Shivaani Selvaraj – Secretary
Sam Reed – Treasurer
Isaac Amendu Evans