Grantee Spotlight: Global Action Project
Global Action Project (GAP)—an Invest in Youth grantee—is an intersectional youth organizing and activism program that uses media and storytelling to help young people, specifically immigrant and TLGBQ youth, advocate for themselves and their communities. On Monday, June 26th, I attended their End of the Year Screening, where participants showcased the short films they worked on.
GAP has three programs geared toward media making. Youth Breaking Borders is composed of immigrant youth exploring critical issues facing their communities. Community Media in Action is an ongoing collaborative program that supports NYC-based youth organizers to produce media to advance social justice campaigns. Supafriends is composed of TLGBQ youth that build community and take leadership in defining their issues with media.
The night was composed of participants’ final films, as well as performances and reverse Q&A’s (where the filmmakers asked the audience the questions).
The night started out lively, with food and a photobooth during the reception. We were then escorted to the auditorium, where the two hosts kept up the energy. The event was opened by a performance by Wawakuna, an Ecuadorian indigenous group that uses dance to preserve cultural identity, and to express injustices occurring in the community.
The first film of the night was Youth Breaking Borders’ Echoes of Iemanja, a short film that dealt with the struggles of an undocumented immigrant, the American Dream, and how they relate.
The second group to present short films was Community Media in Action, that showcased three short films: one featuring the first People’s Assembly of the Hate Free Zone in Queens (shown below).
The next two were call to action films to demand justice for Ramarley Graham’s unjust death in the hands of a police officer.
The very last film, Supafriend’s The C.O.R.E., was set in a dystopian world in 2032, where art and gender expression are outlawed, but a group of TGNC people organize to resist the dictator. The questions from the Q&A included thinking of solutions for policing, and talking about the current political climate.
What I really enjoyed about the night, was seeing the work that youth created. Knowing that the youth created the films from start to finish was inspirational. I also found it incredible that immigrants and the TLGBQ community have programs dedicated to making media to address issues they face. Being a part of both communities, I feel as if often times, we’re misrepresented in media, so I think it’s empowering that GAP gives space for these voices and these stories.
Global Action Project creates social change by using media and film to raise awareness on issues faced by immigrant and TLGBQ young people. GAP allows youth to use art to share their own stories and inspire others to take action.
To learn more about GAP, visit https://www.global-action.org/