In 2002, leaders from We Interrupt This Message and Race Forward (formerly the Applied Research Center) launched the Youth Media Council (YMC) to counter media bias against California’s youth and people of color. As the project grew, it expanded to address inequities in media access and coverage in diverse communities by collaborating with local social justice groups nationwide.  With technical support from the Movement Strategy Center, YMC staff organized these groups into the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net), and evolved to become the Center for Media Justice (CMJ). Launched in 2008, CMJ is now a nationally recognized organizing hub representing the media policy interests and building the cultural leadership of hundreds of social justice groups across the United States.  Our mission is to create media and cultural conditions that strengthen movements for racial justice, economic equity, and human rights.

To achieve our goals, CMJ deploys the CultureSHIFT Strategy- an intersectional approach to democratizing culture and communications through powerful grassroots leadership.

  • First, we coalesce the political power of constituency-based groups for regulatory media change through the Media Action Grassroots Network.
  • Second, we deliver the publications, workshops, and convening of the CultureSHIFT Institute to ensure social justice movements can integrate powerful strategies for media rights, access, and representation into frontline fights for racial and economic justice.

Our programs are designed to build long-term progressive movement infrastructure while bringing collective assets and research to bear on immediate political issues.

With offices in Oakland, CA and Brooklyn, NY—CMJ brings a racial justice lens and breakthrough cultural approaches to a national and cross-sector base of grassroots leaders, civil rights allies, and public interest partners. Today, CMJ is a recognized leader in leveraging constituency, cultural, and communications strategies for media rights, access, and representation.