Please welcome Alan Berry to the Media Literacy Now circle of state leaders. Alan has been interested in media literacy education since his time as a Peace Corps Volunteer (2006-08) in Mali, West Africa, where he experienced the powerful influence of American media on cultural perspectives, especially his own. Formerly the Education Director for The LAMP in New York City, Alan has designed and facilitated hundreds of hours of media literacy programs in school day and out-of-school spaces for youth and older adults, and he has provided professional development for educators in New York and Chicago on media technologies and integrating media literacy into K-12 classrooms. He is most interested in media literacy as a method for empowering underserved and underrepresented communities to civic action and as a learner-centered, critical approach to challenging consumer culture and traditional narratives.
Alan has a B.F.A. in Film Production and a M.S. in Media Studies. As a filmmaker, he has produced short films, documentaries, news stories, and numerous media projects for nonprofit organizations. As a media literacy leader, he has twice been invited by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to meet with international media education professionals as a media literacy ambassador. In 2015, Alan taught an undergraduate course on media literacy education at City University of New York, Queens College.
As a new Mainer Alan wants to help Maine implement media literacy initiatives in every community. Maine has been a leader on many progressive policies, including same sex marriage, ranked-choice voting, and classroom technology, and he’s hoping they can be a leader in providing access to quality media literacy learning and training across the state, as well.
A native of East Texas, Alan lives in the Bangor area with his wife Brieanne, who’s pursuing a PhD in Anthropology and Environmental Policy at the University of Maine, and his two cats, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Robin Van Persie.