By Malyk Johnson – 12th Grade, Allderdice High School
On Thursday, February 4th 2016, Culture Clips held a launch party at the Children’s Museum. During the launch party they unveiled the kick starter for a ten month Pittsburgh pilot program. Culture Clips is a new social media outlet where youth can share facts and information about various cultures around the world. The Founder of Culture Clips, Stephanie Acosta-Mikulasek, described Culture Clips as,
“A communication platform to build understanding and compassion while tearing down walls of prejudice and fear. It’s a place for youth to have real conversations and ask real questions. It’s also a place to illuminate culture clashes, share identity, and know that you won’t be bullied or criticized.”
The idea for Culture Clips came about while Stephanie, and Culture Clip’s co-founder Kim Thomas, were discussing the news in San Miguel Mexico. Kim stated that there was so much anger and that everyone had to be the same, or they were wrong. They decided that they wanted to do something about this; after researching how to talk to youth and how to get youth talking to each other, they decided on Culture Clips.
The kick starter is asking for forty-five thousand dollars to aid in this new program. Organizations and schools will have the opportunity to use and aid in the development of the site, not only in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, but internationally. The money will be used to install kiosks in community centers, and for video tutorials. That way everyone can have the opportunity to use Culture Clips. Stephanie and Kim chose Pittsburgh as the place for their pilot program because Pittsburgh is a big city, but small enough to collaborate easily. Kim never visited Pittsburgh, but Stephanie has lived there previously for four years.
The regional coordinator, Jordan Lincoln Brown, spends his day making sure that different partners throughout Pittsburgh have what they need to hold community days, get involved with Culture Clips, and get Culture Clips involved with their events.
Jordan wants to see Culture Clips go “incredibly global.” He would also like to see Culture Clips converse about culture, as well as world events. Jordan stated that,
“Most social media engages in a lot of self-talk, while Culture Clips is socially developing an idea of who you are, and who you strive to be. Kids usually don’t get the chance to speak, because in some adult minds what they say doesn’t matter. Offering children the space to have these conversations, and being able to speak to one another on a personal level cuts out the materialistic aspects of it. This is something that culture clips is really going to impact. I see culture clips being in the same tier as larger social media outlets because it gives youth the room to speak where others don’t.”
Malyk Johnson will be a senior at Allderdice High School this coming year where he writes for the school newspaper. He enjoys playing video games and listening to podcasts.