Stop-and-Frisk Awareness Campaign

UPDATE:  On August 12th, Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk violates the constitutional rights of New Yorkers by targeting young minority men and has ordered an independent monitor to oversee sweeping changes to the police department.  In addition, the Columbia Journalism Review recently published a piece highlighting the video series and its powerful use of storytelling.

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I recently collaborated with Firelight Films to create a series of short documentaries on the controversial policing tactic known as "stop-and-frisk." This project was commissioned by Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York.

While researching the project, I attended Lloyd vs. City of New York, a class action lawsuit challenging the NYPD's practice of unconstitutional stop and frisks.  In addition to hearing court testimony, I spoke with countless other young people who've been impacted by the policy, as well as police officers, parents and community leaders.

You can watch two of the stories below or view the whole series at whereiamgoing.org.

"Homegoings" on PBS and at The Apollo

Last Friday over 1200 New Yorkers packed the Apollo Theater for the Harlem premiere of Homegoings.  A special thanks to Daniel Roumain (the film's composer) and the Harlem Chamber Players who kicked the screening off with an incredible live performance; and to everyone who came out in support of the film!

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Tonight Homegoings will be broadcast nationally on PBS's POV series at 10pm (check local listings).  For those of you in New York who would still like to see it on the big screen, the film is having a limited theatrical release at Maysles Cinema until July 1st.

“Exquisitely tender. . . one of those rare opportunities to go toward the thing we fear most—death—and realize how much joy and comfort there is in it, when handled with grace and care. Thoughtful and enlightening.” – The Washington Post.
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"Homegoings" Premieres at MoMA's Documentary Fortnight

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Over the weekend Homegoings had its World Premiere at the 2013 MoMA Documentary Fortnight in New York.

Both The Wall Street Journal and the New York Daily News ran feature stories about the film last week and Filmmaker Magazine called Homegoings, "A poetically crafted exploration. . . poignant, inspirational and unexpectedly uplifting."

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With documentarian Albert Maysles at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

With documentarian Albert Maysles at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Composer Daniel Bernard Roumain

Composer Daniel Bernard Roumain

"Your Voice, Your Story"

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I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with several artists for the television series Your Voice, Your Story, produced by Firelight Films for PBS' WORLD Channel.  Tune in this spring to hear life lessons, personal anecdotes and cautionary tales from singer BeBe Winans, actor John Leguizamo, musician John Forté and poet Lemon Andersen.  I was inspired by their enormous creative drive and hope you will be, too.