Our Partners are Stepping Up This Fall

September 19, 2019

Our partners are launching dozens of compelling and timely projects this fall.

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In preparation for the Global Youth Climate Strike, Gan Golan (CC ‘14 & ‘17) and cohosts supported young people in making art for this historic day of action. In a park in Gowanus, Brooklyn, they created posters and built seed sculpture time capsules to make commitments to their future selves and descendants. Cohosts included ArtBuilt Mobile Studio In The Park, 350.org, FridaysForFuture and People's Climate March - NYC.

W. Kamau Bell (CC ‘16) won an Emmy for “Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program” and called on the entertainment industry to do more to get people of color in front of and behind the camera.

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Sue Obeidi (CC ‘17) and her organization, Muslim Public Affairs Council, organized a fantastic panel discussion at the Writers Guild Foundation on black Muslim narratives in entertainment, which the Hollywood Reporter covered.

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"Art is a way of bringing the message out into popular culture," said Cleo Barnett (CC ‘19) to the Capitol Hill Seattle blog. In discussing her work at Amplifier, Cleo added, “In times like these, in times of crisis, when fear and disinformation attempt to divide us, art is more than beauty or decoration. Art has the power to wake people up and create meaningful change.”

Topeka Sam (CI ‘18) is now on tour with Pop Up Magazine for their nights of live storytelling, music, art, and performance devoted to escapes big and small, daring and mundane, physical and mental. See if she’s coming to your city here.

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Yosi Sergant (CC ‘10 & ‘11) and his firm, TaskForce, are planning a pair of large scale "festivals" this year in New York City and Milwaukee during the Democratic Convention (similar to their  TRUTH TO POWER show at the last Democratic Convention). They may also add a Washington, D.C. show to the list (“pending the outcome of the presidential election - either as a celebration or as a #resist event”). They are also building a Creative War Room studio with dozens of full-time designers, illustrators, painters, animators, and writers that will produce intersectional content to be spread widely across the internet. Yosi’s team will also run #GoVote.

Dawn Porter (CC ‘16) is now executive producing and directing some of the episodes for a new mental health doc-series. The docuseries is a collaboration between Oprah and Prince Harry Windsor.

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by Allan McDonald

In early September, hundreds of El Pasoans took a stand against gun violence, hateful rhetoric and white supremacy at the #ElPasoFirme MusicFest and Action. The event was organized by many partners of The Opportunity Agenda: Border Network for Human Rights, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and Poor People’s Campaign, and a broad array of faith, immigrant, civil rights, and grassroots organizations. The festival also coincided with the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship hearing held in El Paso regarding border policies. Performing artists met with some of the family members and victims of the Aug. 3 shooting. Later that day, they filmed a video speaking out against child detention and family separation.

Listen to Salvador Sarmiento (CC ‘17) talk about the #ElPasoFirme event on Latino Rebels Radio at 13:00. 

Caty Borum Chattoo (CC ‘17 & 19) and colleagues at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center published a new report, “Homelessness and Housing Security in U.S. Culture,” examining how pop culture and news depict homelessness and housing security. They looked at 150 episodes from 50 TV shows and 5,703 articles by 12 news outlets. Earlier this year, the Norman Lear Center released its "Africa in the Media" study, which found that the majority of references on American TV to the people and continent of Africa were mostly stereotyped and negative. Through their Africa Narrative initiative, they  hope to change that. This month they announced a partnership with YouTube and the Pan African Film & Arts Festival to encourage innovative video storytelling from African content creators -- and to distribute those stories to international audiences.

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Alan Michelson (CC ‘12) is mounting a one-person exhibition, Wolf Nation, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Starting Oct. 25 and running through Jan. 12, 2020, his piece uses webcam footage of red wolves, a critically-endangered indigenous species, to create a poetic meditation on threat and survival.

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Jamila Hammami (CI ‘15, CC ‘16) is helping the Free Migration Project organize the second Open Borders Conference, this time in New York City. The organizers are accepting proposals for round table discussions and workshops now. The one-day conference will be “a space for activists, scholars, organizers, lawyers, students and members of the community to come together to learn what open borders might look like; why open borders would lead to dramatic increases in public safety, prosperity, and equality; and what it would mean to #AbolishICE.” The Free Migration Project advocates for “recognition of migration as a basic human right, and we support the growing movement to abolish immigration enforcement and open the borders.”

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In collaboration with the Vera Institute of Justice and Art for Justice Fund, Jesse Krimes (CC ’19) has created Voices from the Heartland, an immersive multimedia exhibit on a farm in Paradise, PA. The interactive day of music and talks explores how mass incarceration impacts every American community. The event is centered around a corn maze called “Maze of Injustice: Incarceration in Small & Rural America”. The exhibit also features  22 hand-sewn quilts created in collaboration with regional Amish and Mennonite quilters that depict ideas of justice, safety, and community sourced from currently and formerly incarcerated people. Join the conversation on social media with #HeartlandVoices and #inourbackyards.

The wait is over! Layel Camargo (CC’19) launched Season 2 of The North Pole on Sept. 10. In its groundbreaking first season, the Youtube web series introduced us to Oakland’s favorite trash-talking, revolutionary polar bears: Nina, Benny, Marcus, and Finn. In this season, the friends face deportation, electoral politics, health crises, wildfires, racist family members, and ridiculously escalating Twitter wars.

Jim Miller (CC ‘09) just executive produced a documentary that releases at the end of September. Suppressed: The Fight to Vote features experts, poll watchers and everyday Georgians speaking to the reality of voter suppression and the threat it poses in 2020. The film exposes how the basic constitutional right to vote continues to be under siege in America. Jim invites you to the premieres in Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

Congratulations to Mamoudou N'Diaye (CC '19) for this must-watch comedy short on Comedy Central. All he wanted was some cereal, but, little did he know, the white employee was woke...