Creating Social Change through Storytelling, Advocacy and Strategy

For four semesters, the Media and Movements course, offered within the College of Communication and Information, has given students the opportunity to explore social movements of our time through storytelling, strategy and advocacy. 

In the Spring 2021 semester, students worked with Coleman Professional Services, a community nonprofit behavioral health agency, to create campaigns to combat depression, focusing on three key areas: 

  • Raising awareness of how dramatically COVID has increased the prevalence of depression and related mental health issues in Summit and Portage Counties
  •  The need for children to be screened for major depressive disorders starting at age 12
  • The need to expand Coleman's reach into several hard-to-penetrate rural communities in Ohio

Watch the video to learn more about the 2021 course Media and Movements: Depression - The Silent Epidemic.



The course brings students across programs — media, design, communications and technology — to create these storytelling-centered campaigns. Associate Professor Stephanie Danes Smith has taught the class since its inception. Students have previously worked on campaigns centered on the opioid epidemic, childhood trauma and climate justice.

"I really believe that life pivots on story," she says. "Stories illuminate, entertain and educate, whether it's a news story, a social media post, a TikTok video or a single image. Every contemporary social problem in America has many stories behind it, and we don't often understand these stories."

POSTED: Wednesday, August 11, 2021 04:36 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 03:30 PM