Steven Goodman, director of the Educational Video Center and author of Teaching Youth Media, describes a program that teaches media literacy and documentary production skills to youth in New York City, with an eye toward fostering civic engagement. In the 20 years EVC has been offering documentary workshops, students have investigated a broad range of public problems, including the juvenile justice system, AIDS, race relations, equity in schools, foster care, and environmental pollution. In each case, EVC’s methodology has successfully engaged some of the most hard-to-reach youth. Its success derives in part from empowering youth by putting video technology into their hands and teaching them to use the visual, sound, and text languages of the media to document their world. Youth learn to operate digital video cameras, and about editing and audio technology. More important, they learn to take a critical, questioning approach to the taken-for-granted problems in their communities and engage with the individuals and grassroots organizations working to improve them. In choosing a subject they care deeply about and presenting it to public audiences, youth develop a sense of their own power as learners and cultural producers.