Crews of students in the Atlanta-based non-profit organization re:imagine/ATL’s program at Frederick Douglass High School produced a first-of-its-kind mini documentary on the Douglass community.
It’s Who We Are, Not Where We’re From captures the stark reality of the challenges faced by the students themselves, including homelessness, imprisonment, insecurity, and a difficult education environment. The documentary premiered during the student filmmaker’s Final Showcase event, presented by re:imagine/ATL at the Loudermilk Center.
The documentary takes viewers on a vivid exploration of the two contrasting sides of the community, which co-exist in an area of Atlanta often distinguished by violence but simultaneously uplifted by many resilient people. The student filmmakers shared their perspective on life at Frederick Douglass High School and the surrounding neighborhood, a community often overshadowed by news stories of crime, poverty and hardship.
“The re:imagine/COMMUNITY curriculum has helped many of our students find relevance in learning by collaborating with professionals in various industries,” says Demarcos Holland, Frederick Douglass High School principal. “The students’ involvement in the program has also helped them to improve social skills and ultimately, discover their own passion and purpose, and become more engaged in school.”
Another crew of high school students worked with local filmmakers from independent studios, including Pinewood, and schools, including Atlanta Technical College and Savannah College of Art & Design, to produce original public service announcements in music video form. The PSAs brought awareness to four key issues impacting the community: food access, digital literacy, active lifestyles and STE(A)M career paths. During the spring semester, re:imagine/COMMUNITY expanded to videography students at North Atlanta High School, who produced PSAs for youthSpark to raise awareness about the demand for sex trafficking in Atlanta. You can watch the PSAs on re:imagine/ATL’s YouTube channel.
This story can be found on page 14 of the July/August issue of Oz Magazine