The Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment (ASPIRE) is an organization that partners with universities, community organizations, scholars, and activists to advocate for sustainability and social justice through media-focused teaching and research. ASPIRE teaches digital media production to undergraduates of all majors to enhance their lifelong capacities to undertake social issue advocacy.Undergraduate Education Initiatives at UCLA and ASPIRE are working together to design innovative media production courses that fulfill capstone or practicum requirements for undergraduates of the College of Letters and Science. They have also integrated production methods as research in lecture courses for the UCLA Cluster Program, starting with Food: A lens on Environment and Sustainability.
A Bug's Life on a Human Plate
This short film explores the edible insect movement and the process towards normalizing insects as human food. By Ana Corcoran, Grant Mooney, Patrick Wilson, and Isabelle von Lockner
A Case for Making Media in the Liberal Arts
Liberal Education, a leading journal on college student learning in liberal arts pathways, published an article in 2015 calling on the 2000+ member organizations of the Association of American Colleges and Universities to undertake the “LEAP Challenge", to rethink undergraduate teaching so as to “actively involve students in working on problem-centered inquiry” that makes full use of new educational technologies. The global challenges of the 21st century demand broadly knowledgeable citizens adept at collaborating with others, innovating in practical settings to address complex problems, and adapting to ongoing technological change while retaining a sense of social and personal responsibility. There is a strong demand, moreover, for thoughtful media work within non-profit and community organizations, an arena in which university students can contribute.