top of page
Our Journey.png

Starts September 26th

Courageous RI Professional Development Program

paper airplane, message, memo, man copy.png

The Media Education Lab offers a fully-online professional development program for middle school, high school, and college educators from any field or discipline. This program is led by: 


  • Renee Hobbs (University of Rhode Island)

  • John Palella (Brown University)

  • Benjamin Thevenin (Brigham Young University)

  • Kent Lenci (author of Learning to Depolarize)

This supportive online professional learning community is helping students build media literacy and active listening competencies as they examine the growing problem of violent extremism and discover strategies to reduce the fear and hate that lead to violence.

We have enrolled 58 middle school, high school, or college educators to participate in a 10-hour online PD program (consisting of 6 one-hour online programs plus independent reading, viewing and other work. 

Fall 2023 Program Dates

  • Tuesday, September 26

  • Tuesday, October 10

  • Tuesday, October 24

  • Tuesday, November 7

  • Tuesday, November 21

  • Tuesday, December 5


Time: Choose your cohort: 12 PM or 7 PM EST


Participants who complete the program receive a $500 stipend and will be expected to implement at least 1 learning activity with their students. Ten CEU hours will be issued to those who complete the program. They will be formally recognized at a culminating event in fall 2024.

Why It Matters

Counter Disinformation

In Courageous RI, you are empowered to become a frontline defender against disinformation, hoaxes, propaganda, and the culture of outrage. You will learn how to help people make more responsible choices of information, entertainment, and persuasion.


Improve Media Literacy Skills

In the digital age, media literacy is no longer an option but a necessity. You will gain insights into media biases and learn about how the media ecosystem monetizes anger and hate.

Reduce Violence Through Civic Education and Engagement

By developing the knowledge, habits of mind, and critical thinking that leads people away from polarization and hate, you will contribute to positive change in your community.



Renee Hobbs

Professor, University of Rhode Island

Screenshot 2023-07-06 at 2.54.36 PM.png

John Palella

Lecturer in Education,

Brown University

Screenshot 2023-07-06 at 2.54.18 PM.png

Kent Lenci

Author, Learning to Depolarize

Screenshot 2023-07-06 at 7.14.04 PM.png

Ben Thevenin

Associate Professor, Brigham Young University

Key Elements of the Program

Expert Guidance

Courageous RI brings together leading experts in the fields of media literacy and civic engagement. For everyone, we offer program outlines, coaching, and guidance on how to host lively Courageous Conversations discussion programs. You will receive practical strategies to counter the hate that leads to violence. Our team of professionals is committed to supporting you throughout the program, ensuring that you have the necessary knowledge and resources to make a meaningful impact.

Collaborative Learning

By joining Courageous RI, you become part of a vibrant network of educators and librarians who share a common goal: combating disinformation and promoting media literacy and active listening. Through collaborative learning, you will exchange ideas and share challenges and success stories. Collectively, we will develop innovative approaches to cultivate Courageous Conversations.

Customized Options and Resources

We understand that every educational setting is unique and that people have different priorities and needs. That's why Courageous RI provides customizable learning opportunities. For middle school, high school, and college educators, we offer a learning community along with teaching resources. For students, we host a media contest to unleash creativity and amplify the power of youth voice.

Screenshot 2023-07-06 at 3.50.57 PM.png
Screenshot 2023-07-06 at 3.51.05 PM.png

Join our Mailing List

Receive the latest news from our community right in your inbox.

bottom of page