Conversation and change in a world reaching for justice
Amoshaun Toft (BA RUP ’00) is an educator, researcher, and activist. He studies and teaches “about language, power, and social change,” as noted on his website. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at UW Bothell where he teaches Media & Communication Studies, Society, Ethics & Human Behavior, in the Center for University Studies and Programs, and in the Master in Arts and Cultural Studies.
Says Amoshaun: “I started getting involved in activism when I lived in Central Vermont and attended the Institute for Social Ecology. We were doing actions around genetic engineering and free trade, and we looked around at how the regional media were really not covering our actions, or doing so poorly when they did. So we started doing media activism as one answer to how we can participate in the public dialog. I built on my radio experience at WGDR, Goddard College Community Radio to explore radio journalism as a form of media activism, working with the Independent Media Center radio network and syndicated news programs like Democracy Now and Free Speech Radio News.
“Back in Seattle I worked with a network of unlicensed FM radio stations doing electronic civil disobedience, and when I started working at UW Bothell, I worked with a group of students to organize a web-station and successfully applied for a Low Power FM license from the FCC along with 15 regional stations, bringing neighborhood radio into the light of day.”
Currently his work centers on “analyzing how we can most effectively influence public dialog as movement activists, as well as how we can build community resources for talking to each other and potential participants.” Basically, he is “focused on how we talk to each other when we want to make change, as well as the places where we can have those conversations.”
Note: an abridgment of this story appears in the article, “Is Activism Dead?” in the Clockworks Fall/Winter 2015 issue on page 11.