Jessica Mayberry, founding director of Video Volunteers, will be the third Innovator in Residence at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Video Volunteers teaches villagers in rural India how to create videos that tell about problems in their communities, and then show those videos to the village to accelerate social change.
Mayberry has spent much of the past five years in India to train its poorest citizens in the journalistic, critical thinking and creative skills needed to articulate their issues. She will visit the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1.
Gary Kebbel, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, said Mayberry has combined her knowledge of the media, desire for social justice and entrepreneurial spirit, to create an organization that is improving the lives of people in India. He said her experience can be applied around the world.
"She will work directly with our students to explain how to give a voice to underserved populations with little to no access to news and information," Kebbel said.
Previous CoJMC Innovators in Residence have included Dr. Oh Yeon-ho, founder of the citizen journalism website OhmyNews, and Alexander Zolotarev, founder and CEO of SochiReporter.ru.
Video Volunteers combines trainers with inexpensive cameras teaching rural Indian villagers to tell stories of positive social change. It has the most diverse network of full-time, salaried, community video producers in the world, who work in 14 different community-based media units in the IndiaUnheard program.
In addition to IndiaUnheard, Video Volunteers has launched other programs like the Community Video Unit program, which sets up locally owned and managed media services to provide additional sources of income for village-based Video Volunteers. The organization's goal is to equip a person in every village in the world with the technology to advance human rights through media. Through the Community Video Unit program, people are able to overcome poverty and make a living while improving their community.
Mayberry has significant experience working in television in New York at CNN, Court TV and the Fox News channel. She holds a bachelor's degree in modern history and modern language from Oxford University; serves on the board of Free the Children, the world's largest organization of "Children Helping Children," and on the Advisory Council of Counterpart International.