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UW College of Education Receives Equipoise Fund Grant


March 14, 2008 — The University of Wyoming College of Education, thanks to a recent Equipoise Fund grant, now has four new resources to help Wyoming educators, students and parent groups combat advertising messages that distort images of girls and women.


Jane Warren, a UW assistant professor of counselor education, used the funding to purchase four DVDs from the Wyoming Films Freedom Project. She says the films, "enhance self image through mindful awareness, knowledge and critical thinking."


The four DVDs will soon be available for checkout by campus and community members through the WyoCARE Program (www.uwyo.edu/CARE). To check out any of the DVDs, call Warren at (307) 766-3417 or e-mail jwarren4@uwyo.edu. Warren has targeted three audiences: High school students, UW and community college classes and community groups with an interest in the health of young people.


"High school is a time when you're really developing your identity, where you are forming and developing your values, and when you become, in some ways, rebellious about the authority in the world," Warren says. "This rebelliousness, so to speak, is the process of establishing a self identity. Young persons can be encouraged to become mindful and informed consumers to help them see how much they are being influenced and be able to create a healthier sense of who they are -- not who they ‘should' be as described by advertisers and mass media producers."


Adults can benefit from the DVDs too, she says.


"You're not supposed to look ‘bad' or get and feel old, you're supposed to look perfect, be thin and not age. And you're expected to fix things to become someone other than who you are," says Warren, referring to advertisements that target aging baby boomers.


The four DVDs purchased by UW are: "Killing Us Softly," which explores gender representations in advertising; "Deadly Persuasion: The Advertising of Alcohol and Tobacco"; "Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies and Alcohol"; and "Slim Hopes: Advertising and the Obsession with Thinness."


All four DVDs are from award-winning author and lecturer Jean Kilbourne, a social theorist renowned for her video documentaries on the subject of alcohol and tobacco advertising and the representation of women in advertising.


The Equipoise Fund is a private, non-profit foundation whose goal is to energize, enrich and encourage the vision, voice and visibility of the women and girls of Wyoming. For more information, go to the Web site at www.equipoisefund.org.

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