Youth Media Lab | Department of Media Arts
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Youth Media Lab


The Youth Media Lab (YML) at UNT is an innovative and unique collaboration between media researchers and media producers. Co-directed by Professor Carla Carter and Dr. Jacqueline Ryan Vickery, the lab comprises of Media Arts faculty and students who invest in innovative research, service learning, community partnerships, and learner-centered education to serve our communities through the use of media literacy and production.

We have partnered with youth from diverse communities, including but not limited to: partnerships with local schools, foster care programs, black and Latino/a communities, and other underrepresented groups whose voices, stories, and perspectives are often left out of mainstream media.


Through creative storytelling, self-advocacy, media literacy, and media production, the Youth Media Lab (YML) exists to enable youth to access, analyze, evaluate and create media that affects social change in their communities. It serves as a learning environment, research lab, and an instructional system for sharing knowledge and improving performance.

Our goal is to help young people use media to imagine and create more inclusive, just, and sustainable communities.


Carla LynDale Carter-Bishop, Director of Production

Carla LynDale Carter-Bishop is a filmmaker and teacher of film to people of all ages. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she received her BA in Cinema Studies from the University of Chicago and her MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University in Philadelphia. She has spent more than a decade teaching various community groups how to make documentaries that promote social change and using media as a tool for activism. She has worked with non-profits across the country teaching film as well as in academia including Temple University, Oberlin College, and currently at the University of North Texas. She has also developed a variety of youth media programs across the country, leading panels and workshops about her practices.

Carter-Bishop utilizes a hands-on approach and her extensive background in education to teach young people the art of making media that matters in their communities. She has developed in-school residencies as well as summer documentary workshops for youth. Projects produced by students have screened in international film festivals and in local screenings at schools, libraries, and community events. For example, she and her students produced Freedman Town 2.0, an interactive, augmented reality exhibition that gives visitors unique insights into Denton's African-American history and community. Her curriculum is based the core concepts of Media Literacy Education and the theory of Design Thinking where film is used as a solution to real-world issues in communities.

Dr. Jacqueline Ryan Vickery, Director of Research

Dr. Jacqueline Ryan Vickery is a qualitative interdisciplinary researcher whose work focuses on the intersections of youth, digital media, and equity. Her research is guided by the overarching question: how can and do digital tools enhance or limit opportunities for marginalized populations? Methodologically, her research draws from Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), an innovative approach to positive youth and community development based on principles of social justice. YPAR media literacy curriculum helps young people use media to conduct research that can improve their lives, their communities, and the institutions intended to serve them.

She is the author of Worried About the Wrong Things: Youth, Risk, and Opportunity in the Digital World (The MIT Press, 2017); co-author of The Digital Edge: How Black and Latino Youth Navigate Digital Inequality ( NYU Press, 2018); and co-editor of Mediating Misogyny: Gender, Technology, and Harassment (Palgrave Macmillan 2018), as well as a number of journal articles and other publications. She has conducted ethnographic research with teens in after-school media clubs, teens in foster care, and girl bloggers. In an effort to put her research findings into action, she founded and facilitates a Digital Storytelling Workshop for teens in foster care. Her newest research project focuses on the role of media in foster care, education, and self-advocacy. Dr. Vickery earned a B.A. in Communication from the University of Oklahoma and has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Production and Research Fellows

The Lab is supported by a team of undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni - meet our Summer 2019 team!


If you are a UNT student interested in working with and learning about young people, the YML is currently accepting applications for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Research and Production Fellows. Contact Professor Carter and Dr. Vickery for more information.


Media Literacy Residency with 5th Grade Classrooms at Ryan Elementary School

  • Undergraduate and graduate students from UNT are teaching media literacy to local 5th grade students and helping them to produce their own videos about their school.

Community Videos with P.U.S.H. - a student organization that supports UNT students formerly in foster care

  • We are conducting research and producing a series of community videos about the unique challenges and opportunities that students formerly in foster care face at UNT.

Digital Storytelling Workshop with Cumberland Presbyterian Children's Home

  • UNT students lead a 3-week summer workshop for teens currently in foster care and teach them how to use media to tell their stories.


For more information about community partnerships, sponsorship, volunteer opportunities, open positions, or media inquiries contact us at or

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