Issues & Analysis
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Community Supported Film announces participants from ten countries for the New Immigrant and Refugee Visions project!

First CSFilm Training, Afghanistan, 2010

Community Supported Film is pleased to announce that participants from ten countries have been selected for the New Immigrant and Refugee Visions documentary filmmaking project!

Local Voices Strengthen Global Perspectives

Ten men and women will begin their 15-week training in documentary filmmaking on July 29th. The participants bring a wide variety of immigrant and refugee experiences from their places of origin, Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Haiti, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Afghanistan and Uganda, to communities in and around Boston.

Wilson Thelimo Louis from Haiti, 2017 NIRV participant

These women and men have a diversity of skills, interests and community engagement activities related to social and economic justice. We look forward to working with them to visualize the immigrant and refugee experience from their unique insider perspective and to sharing their films with the American public, media, educators and policymakers.

The training will run from July through November during which time we will be providing regular updates on the process and the stories being produced by the trainees.

Funding

Please help us raise the $14,200 still needed to complete the NIRV training, production and initial public engagement.

With your support CSFilm is able to model an alternative approach to documentary storytelling. Our approach puts locals in charge of defining the story. With local knowledge and lived-experience they examine the issues of concern to their communities from the inside out.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Tumblr for the latest news. View documentaries from our previous training projects in Afghanistan and Haiti on our website.

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ON IMMIGRANTS & REFUGEES: What Happens When Mom and Dad Face Deportation from the US

“I understand how hard it is to take care of little kids,” says 19-year-old Luis Duarte, second from right, who is now caring for his three younger siblings after his parents, originally from Mexico, were detained by US immigration agents in late May. Credit: Deepa Ferndandes

This story by Deepa Fernandes originally appeared on PRI.org on June 11, 2017. It is republished here as part of a partnership between PRI and Global Voices.

As 19-year-old Francisco Duarte watched his parents handcuffed and driven away by immigration officials in late May outside their San Diego, California, home, all he could do was console his hysterical 12-year-old twin sisters.

Then he took off to find help for his parents. They would need an immigration attorney, and Francisco would need to gather their paperwork.

His younger brother Luis, 17, stepped up to look after the younger sisters — he cooked them eggs and ham when they came home from school that day.

The brothers were busy figuring out all the household chores, making sure they had their little sisters taken care of.

And then it hit the brothers. Rent was due in less than a week. They were now going to have to pay all the family’s bills. Duarte said he and his brother gathered all the money his parents had. It came to $2,500.

They would need to supplement their father’s income somehow. He was the breadwinner, running the family ice-cream business. “My mom and my dad met selling ice cream from pushcarts 20 years ago when they came to this country,” Duarte said.

While Francisco and Luis push their own ice cream carts to help out, neither could bring in the money that their farther did, Duarte said.

Francisco Duarte Sr. and his wife, Rosenda Perez, were arrested by immigration agents on May 23. Duarte had left his National City, California, home to buy a newspaper across the street. His wife came out to see what was going on and she was arrested too. Officials say they have been charged with “immigration violations” in the US. There are no criminal charges against them, and neither has a criminal record.

The San Diego couple are among a growing number of non-citizens arrested on civil immigration charges during the first months of the Donald Trump administration. From January 22 to April 29, more than 41,000 people suspected of living in the US without proper authorization have been arrested by federal agents — nearly a 40 percent increase from the same period in 2016, according to US officials.

A quarter of those arrested are charged with being in the US without legal status, but have no prior criminal records. It’s a group that was not targeted as heavily by the Barack Obama administration. The latest numbers show Trump is making good on his campaign promise to change that, as detailed recently by reporter Maria Sacchetti at The Washington Post.

Before his arrest, Duarte was able to pass custody of his three younger children to Luis, his oldest son.

For the kids, it’s been a whirlwind. On a recent Tuesday, Francisco sought commmunity members to write letters of support for his parents.

He arrived back home hungry. “I’ve been out all morning,” said Luis. “We’ve just been hectic, doing as much as we can for our parents, so yeah, [I’m eating] breakfast at 2:37 p.m.”

Mark Lane, a legal assistant at an LA-based immigration law firm, sat with Francisco, and they discussed what else needed to be collected for his parent’s case. Lane was one of the people Francisco called for help the day his parents were arrested.

“Pre-Trump administration, maybe I got two to three calls a week, now I get 10 to 15 calls a day,” Lane said. “People are very scared, families are being split up.”

Lane, whose firm has taken the case of Francisco’s parents, talked to the kids about the expenses they would need to pay. All four children are in school, leaving little time to work and bring in income. So they decided to turn to a terrain they know well: social media.

They created a short video about their situation, posted it to YouTube, and linked it to a GoFundMe fundraising page. They set their fundraising goal at $70,000 and, just days later, they had surpassed it. More than $72,000 in donations have come in so far.

They’re stunned and grateful.

But it wasn’t just money rolling in — people were also reaching out to say we support you.

“It’s just very uplifting that every day I get messages from people and they’re just letting me know that they’re there for me and if there’s anything that I need they’re just a phone call, a text away,” Francisco said.

The older Francisco found it hard to comprehend the social media campaign his kids are pursuing on his behalf, his son said. During a recent phone call, the younger Francisco explained to his father how money and support was coming in.

His dad asked who was donating. “Many people,” his son told him. “Teachers, neighbors, friends, people from around the city,” he told his father during their telephone conversation.

As word spread on social media, friends began coming by the house to help. A group of Luis’s friends from school are helping out. Luz Maria Castañon said they don’t want Luis to suffer at school.

“He’s going to be valedictorian, honestly. [There’s] nothing compared to his GPA.”

In the kitchen, another friend, Maria de Jesus, cooks up some tacos. She said should would cook for the children until their parents come back home.

The twin sisters, Aracely and Yarely, watched their parents get handcuffed and be taken away by immigration officials. It was confusing, Aracely said, and they miss them a lot. Especially when they come home from school.

“Usually my mom would be here and she would sometimes have a little snack prepared,” Yarely said.

The girls are not identical twins, but they both have the same sweet, kind of sad smile. They busy themselves putting things away in their room.

“Sometimes it is a bit overwhelming but, um, …” Yarely trails off.

Luis checks in on his sisters, makes sure they are OK, and then has to leave. “I’m going to go and do laundry right now because our sheets are really nasty,” he said.

Is this his job normally?

“Nah, not really.”

After the laundry, he has to be home for his sisters. His brother will continue gathering letters of support for their parents.

“I understand how hard it is to take care of little kids now,” Luis said.

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ON IMMIGRANTS & REFUGEES: East Bay Airbnb Hosts Offer Free Lodging to Refugees

When Sandy Yen learned earlier this year that home-sharing site Airbnb was looking for people to host refugees for free, she jumped at the chance, offering her Oakland guest house.

“My parents were Taiwanese immigrants in the 1970s, and when they came to the U.S., they struggled,” Yen said. “They were unfamiliar with the culture and the language. I’d like to give a family the kind of help I wish my parents had received.”

Yen is waiting to be matched with a family. She learned about Open Homes from an email Airbnb sent her about the program.

The 37-year-old is among 160 Bay Area residents to welcome refugees and other displaced people through Airbnb’s Open Homes program, which launched in June.

Residents of the East Bay, as well as elsewhere, are opening their homes to refugees through Airbnb’s recently launched Open Homes program. Photo: Creative Commons

There are 41 such volunteers from the East Bay, 75 in San Francisco and 48 in the South Bay. Around 450 Californians are participating, according to Airbnb.

Hosts can volunteer their homes and spare bedrooms to refugees via the Airbnb website. The International Rescue Committee, the startup’s U.S. partner, then books the listings for their refugee clients.

“They (the committee) have around 30-40 areas where they are actively working to settle refugee families, so we have been communicating with hosts in those areas to see if they would be open to signing up,” said Kim Rubey, Airbnb’s head of social impact and philanthropy.

Open Homes uses an enhanced version of a tool that was developed a few years ago to help folks displaced by disasters such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“One of our hosts was living in Brooklyn and contacted us to say she had a big place and she wanted to list it for free,” Rubey said.

“At the time, we only allowed people to create listings when you charged. We realized what a great opportunity it was to help people out and a team of architects and designers worked through the night to redesign our payment system. That was the beginning of our disaster relief tool,” Rubey said.

The company has activated the tool more than 60 times to house people affected by disasters, she said.

Rubey said Airbnb, a $30 billion startup operating in 50,000 cities in 191 countries, got so much positive feedback about the disaster relief tool, the company decided to expand it.

“Since we are a global platform, we started exploring other global issues as well” and realized there was an overwhelming need for housing for refugees, Rubey said. This led to the development of Open Homes.

With the enhanced tool, “a host anywhere around the globe at any time can alert us to let us know their ability to help on the refugee front,” she said. This can be accomplished by visiting Airbnb.com/welcome and following the prompts.

“What has been really overwhelming to us is how many people are signing up who are not currently hosts,” Rubey said.

While the Brooklyn host was the inspiration for the disaster relief tool, another, unlikely person helped with the development of Open Homes: President Donald Trump.

In January, Trump issued his infamous executive order banning citizens from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the country. Travelers from those countries were detained or otherwise found themselves in limbo in airports around the world, including San Francisco International Airport. Many had fled wars in Yemen or Syria or repression in Sudan or Iran.

Protesters swarmed SFO in support of the detainees, and San Francisco-based Airbnb also stepped up.

Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, tweeted Jan. 28, “Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stay tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing.”

At that point, “we were not quite ready to launch (Open Homes),” but Airbnb activated the disaster relief tool and helped many detainees. “It helped us learn a lot in a short time,” contributing to the development of Open Homes, Rubey said.

“Our whole mission is to create a world where people feel like they belong wherever they go. Travel bans fly in the face of that, so we want to help in any way we can,” she said.

Yen said, “Knowing that there are millions of people displaced, I hope we can offer our home and help a family or an individual, welcome them in every way possible and make their path a little smoother.”

 

Janis Mara covers East Bay real estate for Berkeleyside. She has worked at the Oakland Tribune, the Marin Independent Journal, the Contra Costa Times, Adweek and Inman News, an Emeryville-based national real estate trade publication, winning California Newspaper Publishers Association and Digital First Media awards for investigative work, business coverage and education writing. Reach her at janismara (at) gmail.com or follow her on Twitter, @jmara.

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ON HAITI: Haiti Still in Dire Straits, Number of Migrants Shows

Nadia Prophete, 12, collects food from a trash to sell to pig owners at the Cite Soleil area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, June 12, 2017.

Nadia Prophete, 12, collects food from a trash to sell to pig owners at the Cite Soleil area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, June 12, 2017.

By: Reuters for VOA NEWS , July 13, 2017 10:42 PM

U.S. authorities sent home about 100 Haitian immigrants discovered on a rickety boat this week, the most found at sea in more than a year and a sign of more people likely to flee the impoverished island, advocates said Thursday.

Haitians are struggling to survive a homeland devastated by natural disasters and disease, and the situation could worsen if U.S. officials return home more than 50,000 Haitians in the United States on temporary visas, they said.

Special immigration status

Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has cast uncertainty over whether to extend a special immigration status that has been granted to Haitians since a 2010 earthquake.

The Haitians in the United States send money, or remittances, home to families that rely on them heavily, said Steven Forester, a spokesman for the Boston-based Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH).

“Haiti is in no condition to both deal with the overwhelming challenges of the disasters that have struck … much less to replace the remittances they send back to support hundreds of thousands of family members,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Street boys await vehicles to offer their cleaning jobs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, June 12, 2017.

Street boys await vehicles to offer their cleaning jobs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, June 12, 2017.

Haitians take to the sea

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, was hit hard in October by Hurricane Matthew. The storm left about 1.4 million people in need of assistance and resurrected a deadly cholera outbreak. The country also has faced huge problems trying to rebuild.

A growing number of Haitians are likely to be willing to undertake the dangerous journey by sea or land to flee, advocates say.

The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted 102 Haitian migrants crowded on a rickety sailboat about 20 miles (35 kms) south of Great Inagua, Bahamas and sent them home Wednesday.

The Coast Guard in a statement said it was the largest such interdiction in more than a year.

“The Caribbean and Florida Straits are dangerous and unforgiving for migrants on illegal and ill-advised voyages in overloaded vessels,” said Jason Ryan, chief of response for the Seventh Coast Guard District.

Always expect migration

U.S. immigration officials said in May that Haiti’s special status designation would be extended for six months rather than the usual 18 months.

While sending Haitians back could worsen conditions, residents of the island nation will try to leave as long as they have few economic opportunities at home, said Muzaffar Chishti, director of the Migration Policy Institute at New York University School of Law.

“We should always expect migration pressure from Haiti,” Chishti told the Foundation.

More than 9,000 Haitians have been found trying to enter the United States along its southwest border with Mexico so far in the current fiscal year, compared with about 300 in 2015, according to U.S. government statistics.

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Index of Select Previous Events

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ON HAITI: To really help Haiti’s children, stop the international funding of orphanages

In this 2013 photo, a boy stands in his room in the U.S.-based Church of Bible Understanding orphanage in Kenscoff, Haiti, a facility run by a Christian missionary group funded by an antique store in Manhattan.

In this 2013 photo, a boy stands in his room in the U.S.-based Church of Bible Understanding orphanage in Kenscoff, Haiti, a facility run by a Christian missionary group funded by an antique store in Manhattan. Dieu Nalio Chery AP

OP-ED JULY 03, 2017 10:10 PM, BY JAMIE VERNAELDE, @jmvernaelde

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ON IMMIGRANTS & REFUGEES: Essay Contest – Writers’ Room of Boston Immigrant Voices

Have you immigrated recently to Boston from another country?

If so, we want to hear your story!
Enter The Writers’ Room of Boston Immigrant Voices Essay Contest
Theme: “A Boston Journey– The Immigrant Experience in This Historical Moment.”
All immigrants and refugees are invited to submit a 500-word essay about their experiences since arriving in greater Boston. Share your challenges, successes and hopes for the future.
Public_Domain_Archives_Boston_Skyline
We understand that some members of the immigrant community may feel uncomfortable identifying themselves and for this reason, essays may be submitted under a pseudonym.
All contact information (email addresses, addresses and phone numbers) will remain private for every submission.
ALL WINNERS AND FINALISTS WILL BE PUBLISHED ON OUR WEBSITE: WWW.WRITERSROOMOFBOSTON.ORG
First Prize: a new laptop computer
Second Prize: a $100 gift certificate to Porter Square Books
(located in Cambridge near the Porter Square T stop on the Red Line)
Send your essay in the body of an email to: info@writersroomofboston.org
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: MIDNIGHT, MAY 15, 2017

 

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New Immigrants and Refugees Apply Now for FREE Documentary Filmmaking Training and Production, Boston

New Immigrant and Refugee Visions

APPLICATION DEADLINE: CLOSED

Download, Print and Share: NIRV – Call for Applicants – Poster and Details (2-pages, print front and back on single page for distribution)

  • Get Trained in Documentary Filmmaking: Community Supported Film is looking for ten new immigrants and refugees from the Boston area to learn documentary filmmaking.
  • Make a Film: Each participant will produce his or her own short film about the challenges faced or the contributions made by their community.
  • Share Your Story: Your films will be screened across the country to inform public opinion and influence decision-makers about the experience of new immigrants and refugees.

Qualifications:

  1. New immigrant or refugee in Greater Boston, 18 years and older, who has ideally been in the US for <10 years;
  2. Conversational English;
  3. Previous experience with any form of storytelling, such as theater, fiction or non-fiction writing, print, radio, photo, video or other journalism in the US or country of origin. No previous filmmaking experience required;
  4. Involvement in your community’s economic or social issues. Your experience can be professional or voluntary;
  5. Ability to use what you learn from the training in your ongoing community or professional work. The training does not intend to produce filmmakers who can make their living solely from documentary filmmaking, but will provide usable and employable skills for continued community activism or employment;
  6. Comfort working with people coming from many different cultures, religions and backgrounds;
  7. Excellent work ethic and a good sense of humor. This will be a demanding training and require a great deal of hard work, self-initiative and attention to detail.

Time Commitment:

  1. Fifteen weeks: classes will be held Saturdays, 9-5, and one weekday evening per week, 6-10.
  2. 5+ hours of work out of class to do your weekly filmmaking exercises and to make your final short-film.

Schedule:

  • July 29th – November 18th, 2017; All Saturdays except 9/2 and 10/7; Plus one weekday evening per week, 6-9pm

Expenses Covered:

  1. Transportation
  2. Lunch on days of training
  3. Equipment and production resources provided.

Apply by sending the following:

  1. Letter explaining your interests, qualifications and availability based on the above information
  2. Resume
  3. Three community or professional references including: name, email, phone and the nature of your relationship
  4. Online links or physical documentation of previous storytelling work – if available

Email to info@csfilm.org with the subject line: “Applicant: NIRV Trainee.”  – or –  Mail your application to Community Supported Film, 31 Lenox Street, Boston, MA 02118.

Application Deadlines and Process

  • Currently                            Applicant interviews are being held
  • July 29                                Training begins, Saturdays and one evening
  • Nov. 18                                 Training ends, 10 short films completed

About Community Supported Film (CSFilm)

CSFilm trains women and men in under-represented communities to use documentary filmmaking to produce stories about their economic and social realities. The local perspectives captured in their films are used in screen and discuss campaigns to influence public policy and opinion. Go to www.csfilm.org/projects to see the results of previous CSFilm training, production and public engagement projects in Afghanistan and Haiti.

Questions? Contact us at info@csfilm.org or 617-834-7206.

Download, Print and ShareNIRV – 2 Page Poster & Details 
(2-pages, print front and back on single page for distribution)

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ON DEVELOPMENT, ON MIGRATION: Humankind’s Ability to Feed Itself, Now in Jeopardy | Inter Press Service

Mankind’s future ability to feed itself is in jeopardy due to intensifying pressures on natural resources, mounting inequality, and the fallout from a changing climate, warns a new United Nations’ report. Though very real and significant progress in reducing global hunger has been achieved over the past 30 years, “expanding food production and economic growth have often come at a heavy cost to the natural environment,” says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report

Source: Humankind’s Ability to Feed Itself, Now in Jeopardy | Inter Press Service

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ON DEVELOPMENT: Humanitarian Crisis, Result of Decades of Globalization with No Concern for Social Justice | Inter Press Service

GENEVA, Feb 21 2017 (IPS) – The distressing images of desperate people making the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean Sea and the Balkans to escape armed conflict, social tensions, discrimination and poverty harm the preconditions to achieve social harmony.

Dr. Hanif Hassan Al Qassim

Dr. Hanif Hassan Al Qassim

This humanitarian crisis is the result of decades of freewheeling globalization with no concern for social justice in all countries. One of its consequences is social upheavals and mass exodus.What remains today of the peace and its dividends that were supposed to accrue to the poorer countries as a consequence of the ending of the East-West conflict?

Source: Humanitarian Crisis, Result of Decades of Globalization with No Concern for Social Justice | Inter Press Service

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ON THE MEDIA: Confusion over U.S. Travel Ban Grounds Foreign Correspondents

New restrictions on immigrants and refugees coming to the United States are also posing challenges for foreign correspondents covering news in the United States. Some have had to indefinitely postpone plans to report on conflicts in the Middle East while others have found an unfriendly reminder of their past treatment as journalists in less free countries. U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order sent shockwaves throughout the world as citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries and all refugees were barred

Source: Confusion over U.S. Travel Ban Grounds Foreign Correspondents

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AFGHANISTAN: Time for Pakistan to walk the talk on Afghanistan

Opinion: Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, former Pakistan ambassador to the US, India and China and head of UN missions in Iraq and Sudan.

…Given the perversity of our [Pakistan’s] political and decision-making processes, we have consistently opted for the mug’s game. As a result, we frittered away the enormous Afghan goodwill that Pakistan had accumulated during the Soviet occupation. After the Soviet defeat and withdrawal, we (wittingly or unwittingly) unleashed a ruinous civil war and imposed a barbaric and medieval Taliban upon the hapless Afghan people.

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CSFilm Current Project: New Immigrant and Refugee Visions

Documentary Filmmaking Training, Production and Public Engagement

Download:     NIRV Intro,     NIRV – Call for Applicants: Details – Apply Now! 

Introduction: New Immigrant and Refugee Visions (NIRV) is a messaging project designed to inform US public opinion about the experience of new immigrants and refugees. NIRV will train new immigrants and refugees to produce a series of short non-fiction films that will amplify their stories and perspectives. In the current climate of anti-immigrant sentiment among some US communities, this initiative will produce narratives that focus on the integration challenges faced by immigrants and the contributions they make to our culture, economy and social fabric. Their narratives will be used by organizations nation-wide to stimulate conversations that advance systemic change.

Background:  CSFilm trains women and men in underrepresented communities to use documentary filmmaking to reveal their economic and social realities.  Their films are screened internationally to stimulate dialogue informed by local perspectives.

In 2010, Community Supported Film trained 10 Afghans in documentary filmmaking.  The resulting award-winning films were gathered in the collection The Fruit of Our Labor: Afghan Perspectives in Film.  As NPR’sHere and Now” host Robin Young reported: “[CSFilm] put cameras in the hands of Afghans and gave them training to make films about their lives. The result is an unprecedented intimate look at Afghan life with exchanges no outsider has been privy to before.” The Fruit of Our Labor films stimulated dialogue, rethinking and action from town halls to the halls of congress.

CSFilm conducted a similar bottom-up training and production process in Haiti that produced ten remarkable short films, Owning Our Future-Haitian Perspectives in Film. Going beyond disaster reporting, these films capture the experiences and points of view of Haitians – a rarity in the international conversation about what has and has not happened in the long and painful history of Haiti’s economic, social and political development.

New Immigrant and Refugee Issues: We are living in the midst of a global crisis for immigrants and refugees. Pew Research Center reports that “Nearly 1 in 100 people worldwide are now displaced from their homes, the highest share of the world’s population that has been forcibly displaced since the UNHCR began collecting data on displaced persons in 1951.”

With 60 million people displaced in 2015, and the causal conditions worsening, the 21st century is expected to be defined by how we respond to the flow of refugees and immigrants. Despite or because of this humanitarian crisis, the anti-immigrant backlash continues to grow in the U.S. and internationally and is now finding unprecedented support from the current administration. We need to counter xenophobia, racism, NIMBYism and wall building by creating understanding and appreciation for new immigrants and refugees through their voices and visions.

 

Transforming News and Views through Local Perspectives, TED-x talk by Michael Sheridan, Director, CSFilm

Goals: CSFilm’s vision is driven by the knowledge that democracy, social stability and equitable economic development depend on a well-informed citizenry. The predominance of information about the “other”, however, is still produced by outsiders in a top-down colonial news system guided by self-interest. CSFilm’s mission is to help citizens make responsible decisions about their community, country and world by strengthening their access to local perspectives.

Plan of Implementation:

  • Train local new immigrants and refugees in documentary filmmaking: CSFilm and immigrant and refugee support organizations will collaborate on the trainee outreach and selection.   CSFilm works with adults, who have life experience to bring to the storytelling and are positioned to use the learning in their ongoing work. The traditional selection criteria is as follows:
  1. Experience with storytelling from, for example, the theater, poetry, photo, video, radio or print journalism. They do not need previous experience with filmmaking;
  2. A track record of interest in and work on social, economic and cultural development issues;
  3. A plan for how they will use the skills learned to benefit their community and/or professional growth.
  • Produce a collection of lived-reality short films: Each trainee will produce a 5-10 minute film that visualizes their community’s current experience as immigrants or refugees. Their films will use character-driven, situational storytelling to reveal the often inhumane treatment, threats of deportation, stigmatization, obstacles to integration, and economic and social challenges they face as well as stories of the great contributions they bring to our communities and nation.

US Congressional Briefing and Screening of The Fruit of Our Labor. Representative James McGovern (D-MA) shares his gratitude for the opportunity to hear directly from Afghans and emphasizes that “those of us who want to see an end to war are not saying let’s abandon the people of Afghanistan.”

  • Screen, discuss, disseminate and act: A robust public engagement campaign will follow the training and production process and be defined and implemented in collaboration with local, regional and national immigrant and refugee organizations.  This collaborative approach will maximize the initiative’s capacity to influence public opinion and policy on immigrant and refugee issues. The process will also serve to build understanding between often diverse and divided immigrant communities.

Discussion guides for organizers, educators and institutional gatekeepers, including police, employers, and social service providers will be produced to help focus discussions in town halls, classrooms, conferences, government meetings, etc. In addition, the films will be broadcast on the national network of cable access stations and made available to other broadcast and social media networks and the press.

Timeline, 2017:

March-June: Outreach and selection of new immigrant and refugee trainees and filmmakers;

July-October: Training and Production;

October-December: Production of educational materials for distribution with the mastered and duplicated films;

December: Launch of public distribution and engagement campaign.

Resources: Thanks to the generous support of many individual donors, CSFilm has raised over 2/3rds of the $65,000 budget required to implement the training, production and initial public engagement campaign. CSFilm is actively seeking additional funds to fully implement this project and will continue our efforts until the funding goal is reached.

Intended Impact:

  1. Capacity building: New immigrants and refugees trained to use non-fiction storytelling to communicate their community’s development challenges and accomplishments; trainees equipped with employable production skills;
  2. Documentary Stories: Production of 10 documentary films, totaling 60-90 minutes.  A revealing collection of

    Woods Hole Film Festival, post screening discussion with filmmaker Beth Murphy and journalists Charles Sennott and Sebastian Junger

    short stories made by women and men from a diversity of ethnic backgrounds and immigrant and refugee experiences.  Their intimate access to the people, situations, challenges and contributions of their communities will make this collection of films unique in its ability to stimulate dialogue and influence opinion about a variety of topics, such as, integration, cross-cultural conflict, resettlement, healthcare and employment.

  3. Public Engagement and Education: Hundreds of immigrant community residents and service providers and thousands of communities nationally are educated, engaged and activated by screenings and dialogues which are supported by educational toolkits;
  4. Distribution: Thousands will be reached via media coverage, online screenings, DVD distribution, and social media.

Conclusion: This initiative will harness the knowledge and outreach capacity of organizations with expertise in documentary filmmaking, communications, the immigrant and refugee experience, national outreach and policy. The goals of NIRV are to advance narratives that counter misinformation and bias, promote an inclusive culture and economy, foster empathy for and ownership of the problems and solutions faced by immigrant and refugee communities and engage people in new thinking, behavior and actions that lead to sustained and systemic change.

Scene from Ghetto Green, Ghetto Clean by Steeve Colin; produced during CSFilm’s documentary filmmaking training, Haiti, 2014

 

 

 

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ON THE MEDIA: In West Bank, Witnesses To Conflict Are Using Video To Document What They See, NPR

This week, Israel will sentence a soldier convicted of killing a wounded Palestinian man last year in Hebron. A Palestinian shoemaker recorded a video of the shooting, which was shown at the trial.

Source: In West Bank, Witnesses To Conflict Are Using Video To Document What They See : Parallels : NPR

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HAITI: Poem – i want to talk about haiti.

Poetry Foundation

Poem of the Day:

quaking conversation

BY LENELLE MOÏSE
i want to talk about haiti.
how the earth had to break
the island’s spine to wake
the world up to her screaming.

 

how this post-earthquake crisis
is not natural
or supernatural.
i want to talk about disasters.

 

how men make them
with embargoes, exploitation,
stigma, sabotage, scalding
debt and cold shoulders.

 

talk centuries
of political corruption
so commonplace
it’s lukewarm, tap.

 

talk january 1, 1804
and how it shed life.
talk 1937
and how it bled death.

 

talk 1964.  1986.  1991.  2004.  2008.
how history is the word
that makes today
uneven, possible.

 

talk new orleans,
palestine, sri lanka,
the bronx and other points
or connection.

 

talk resilience and miracles.
how haitian elders sing in time
to their grumbling bellies
and stubborn hearts.

 

how after weeks under the rubble,
a baby is pulled out,
awake, dehydrated, adorable, telling
stories with old-soul eyes.

 

how many more are still
buried, breathing, praying and waiting?
intact despite the veil of fear and dust
coating their bruised faces?

 

i want to talk about our irreversible dead.
the artists, the activists, the spiritual leaders,
the family members, the friends, the merchants
the outcasts, the cons.

 

all of them, my newest ancestors,
all of them, hovering now,
watching our collective response,
keeping score, making bets.

 

i want to talk about money.
how one man’s recession might be
another man’s unachievable reality.
how unfair that is.

 

how i see a haitian woman’s face
every time i look down at a hot meal,
slip into my bed, take a sip of water,
show mercy to a mirror.

 

how if my parents had made different
decisions three decades ago,
it could have been my arm
sticking out of a mass grave

 

i want to talk about gratitude.
i want to talk about compassion.
i want to talk about respect.
how even the desperate deserve it.

 

how haitians sometimes greet each other
with the two words “honor”
and “respect.”
how we all should follow suit.

 

try every time you hear the word “victim,”
you think “honor.”
try every time you hear the tag “john doe,”
you shout “respect!”

 

because my people have names.
because my people have nerve.
because my people are
your people in disguise

 

i want to talk about haiti.
i always talk about haiti.
my mouth quaking with her love,
complexity, honor and respect.

 

come sit, come stand, come
cry with me. talk.
there’s much to say.
walk. much more to do.

 

Lenelle Moïse, “quaking conversation” from Haiti Glass. Copyright © 2014 by Lenelle Moïse.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books, www.citylights.com.

Source: Haiti Glass(City Lights Books, 2014)

LENELLE MOÏSE

Biography
More poems by this author

 

Source: Poetry Foundation – Poem of the Day Newsletter

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ON THE MEDIA: The View From Room 205

Can schools make the American Dream real for poor students?

ON THE MEDIA: A powerful radio documentary on the appalling state of US education in poor neighborhoods.  From Linda Lutton at WBEZ, Chicago public radio.

Source: The View From Room 205

1

Screening of CSFilm’s Haitian-made films at Haitian Diaspora Challenge Initiative Symposium

Thankful for the opportunity  to screen films from “Owning Our Future-Haitian Perspectives in Film” today at the Haitian Diaspora Challenge Initiative Symposium.  The spirit of “Owning our Future” fit well with the general theme of the day that Haitians must own and implement the change they envision.  Paul G. Altidor, Ambassador to the US, spoke most directly to this issue.  The following are my notes from his remarks:

To change the cycle of poverty in Haiti we need to change the narrative that Haiti is nothing but a special need student.

The narrative of pity for Haiti is keeping Haiti down and pity is not a sustainable approach to development.  So often people tell me, “I’ve tried this Haiti thing so long, I’m done with it.”

I don’t want the Haitian Diaspora to end up with the same frustration because it takes a project-based approach rather than integrating their ideas into collaborative, movement-based initiatives.

It has proven to be counter productive to have all these individual initiatives.  A lot of smart, well thought out initiatives do not have a long-term view.

This project, that project, the other project, is not a strategic approach to long-term improvements inHaiti.  Projects need to situate themselves in movements, to make themselves a part of the ongoing dialogue.

Boston’s Mayor Walsh opened the day with a very positive, energetic set of remarks emphasising that no matter what happens in DC, Boston is and will remain an open, welcoming and safe place for all. Happy (especially after Trump’s inaugeration yesterday) to be engaged with this powerful day of reflection and recognition of sustainable, innovative development for Haiti, by Haitians. #LookListenLocal @csfilmorg @naahphaiti

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Haitian Diaspora Challenge Initiative Symposium and CSFilm Screening

Thankful for the opportunity  to screen films from “Owning Our Future-Haitian Perspectives in Film” today at the Haitian Diaspora Challenge Initiative Symposium.  The spirit of “Owning our Future” fit well with the general theme of the day that Haitians must own and implement the change they envision.  Paul G. Altidor, Ambassador to the US, spoke most directly to this issue.  The following are my notes from his remarks:

To change the cycle of poverty in Haiti we need to change the narrative that Haiti is nothing but a special need student.

The narrative of pity for Haiti is keeping Haiti down and pity is not a sustainable approach to development.  So often people tell me, “I’ve tried this Haiti thing so long, I’m done with it.”

I don’t want the Haitian Diaspora to end up with the same frustration because it takes a project-based approach rather than integrating their ideas into collaborative, movement-based initiatives.

It has proven to be counter productive to have all these individual initiatives.  A lot of smart, well thought out initiatives do not have a long-term view.

This project, that project, the other project, is not a strategic approach to long-term improvements inHaiti.  Projects need to situate themselves in movements, to make themselves a part of the ongoing dialogue.

Boston’s Mayor Walsh opened the day with a very positive, energetic set of remarks emphasising that no matter what happens in DC, Boston is and will remain an open, welcoming and safe place for all. Happy (especially after Trump’s inaugeration yesterday) to be engaged with this powerful day of reflection and recognition of sustainable, innovative development for Haiti, by Haitians. #LookListenLocal @csfilmorg @naahphaiti

0

HAITI, ON DEVELOPMENT: How This Social Entrepreneur Is Moving Haiti Away From Aid Toward Trade

Haitian social entrepreneur and impact investor, Daniel Jean-Louis, is working on multiple fronts to reduce Haiti’s reliance on aid and increase employment in the country where 70 percent of adults lack a proper job.

Source: How This Social Entrepreneur Is Moving Haiti Away From Aid Toward Trade

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