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The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family,” which is comprised of the faculty, students and staff that make the university what it is.

USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking a Program Specialist to join its MacArthur funded Media, Activism, and Participatory Politics (MAPP) Project.

Henry Jenkins’ MAPP Project at USC explores continuities between online participatory culture and civic engagement. With low entry barriers, participatory culture-based communities often encourage online participation and expression even as they promote expression, awareness, mentor-ship,and skill training. Premised on a dynamic understanding of citizenship, we analyze how participatory culture interactions encourage young people across political affiliations and social values to create, discuss and organize to engage with specific civic issues and events. We then ask how these interactions lead to new forms of organizing and action.

Over the past four years, MAPP conducted five case studies of diverse youth-driven communities which translate mechanisms of participatory culture into civic engagement and political participation. Our findings stress the interplay between individual growth, organizations, networks, communities, and platforms. As MAPP researchers learned, these groups often succeed by tapping practices of cultural appropriation, storytelling and remixing, working across organizational contexts, deploying metaphors from popular culture, and drawing on sustained engagement with interest-driven and friendship-based networks. Over time, youth involved in these communities mapped innovative and imaginative trajectories that scaffolded existing skills and interests towards a sustained ability to achieve social change.

We now shift our attention to supporting connections and dialogues between communities and curating and creating media, and working closely with educators and community leaders to ensure the findings of our research find application in real world contexts. We seek staff who are self-motivated, but collaborative and willing to be creative in the management of their work environment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities of Project Specialist Will Include:

Community Liaison

• seek out and establish new community connections on behalf of MAPP project
• sustain and support existing relationships
• connect members in the project network to each other to support productive dialogue and exchange
• identify opportunities for closer partnerships with specific communities and organizations

Event Planning

• propose, plan, coordinate and execute live and online events

Online Resource/Library Development

• Network with other projects and organizations working in related areas
• Develop competence with “Scalar” platform
• Participate in the development of specific sections of the resource/library

Educator Outreach

• seek out connections to educators and educational institutions whose approaches resonate with MAPP’s commitment to participatory practices
• support relationships with specific educators
• coordinate piloting MAPP’s online resource through these educator networks

Media Curation/Creation

• actively participate in the curating and organizing MAPP’s media database (currently in process)
• work with other projects in MAPP network to ensure thematic and conceptual alignment
• coordinate with other contributors to ensure coherence across various curated section
• as needed create media (film interviews, document events, edit existing footage)


• Set timelines and deliverables for specific tasks and goals
• If relevant, provide guidance to student workers on the project
• Work with research director to plan budget, allocate funding, and keep the project on track

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

Preferred Qualifications

Preferred Education
The Program Specialist will have earned a degree in one or more of subject areas relevant to MAPPproject.
Bachelor’s Degree (or above) with at least three years experience.

Preferred Experience
Previous experience in working with grassroots media and civic engagement is also a requirement. Successful candidates must be able to work independently and apply their knowledge of domestic and international participatory cultures and civic engagement towards accomplishing project goals. They should also be able to discuss and deliberate with diverse peers and communities.

Three years for experience in relevant field such as community coordination, educator outreach, media curation, grassroots media creation, online resource development. Strong writing skills appreciated.

Preferred Field of Expertise
Mastery of Photoshop, Illustrator, Finalcut (or other editing suite) software strongly preferred. Knowledge of HTML and CSS a plus.


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