History and Programs

MMP grows out of two histories of anti-poverty, human rights and communication organizing – Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign and Indymedia. From these histories, we learned core lessons: that in an era of consolidated media that doesn’t tell true stories about poor and working people, we need a community-based media production and distribution infrastructure, and that new communications technologies offer vital platforms for disenfranchised communities to share stories and unite across powerful lines of division.

Building on these insights, MMP formed in 2005 and has since strengthened dozens of existing and emerging grassroots struggles and organizations through narrative and resource development, media collaborations, and training; educated over 1000 immigrants, low-wage workers, and youth in audio/video production, digital literacy and human rights; launched radio, TV, and web platforms reaching nearly 50,000 people; shaped the public debate around poverty locally and nationally (including producing a PBS documentary on American poverty that has been seen by over 7.5 million viewers); and led a coalition to win Philadelphia $18 million in federal stimulus funding to break the digital divide

MMP is now running public computer labs with 6 community organizations across Philadelphia, providing basic to advanced technology and media training and computer resources to thousands of poor and working people. Many training participants go on to become leaders in MMP's ongoing grassroots media program infrastructure and organizing committees. These include a monthly TV show, MMPTV; three radio shows; and Labor, Political Education, Grassroots Fundraising, Fight for Drivers Licenses and End Fire Company Brownouts committees. Leaders developed through our work also consult with and contract to organizations leading struggles for justice locally, regionally, and nationally, including Put People First PA, a statewide effort to organize thousands of unorganized Pennsylvanians toward building the sort of power we need to win lasting victories around health care, education, jobs, housing and all our human needs and rights.