WISH LIST: $100: training for 1 teenager to produce a media project; $500: 2 digital audio recorders; $1000: a brand new video camera
The goal? A path for at-risk youth to become leaders of community change. The tools? Cameras, computers, and ... creativity. A truly community-based media project, the Gandhi Brigade pairs teens and young adults with media professionals to produce video, photography, and graphic designs that explore race, gender, economics, power, faith, and justice in their neighborhoods – with nearly 50 projects brought to life by 100 young people in the past year. While many kids are first attracted by the technology itself, experiencing a positive peer group and getting absorbed in a challenging, personal project soon draws them into the full Gandhi Brigade experience: Swadeshi Studios (where kids learn business skills while creating media for non-profit clients), Freedom School (where youth and adult leaders unite to explore social justice through conversation and workshops), and Express Yourself (where 140 young artists display nearly 200 media projects at a regional festival). The most advanced students can bring their involvement full circle by returning as peer instructors. Why not support a creative, lasting approach to youth empowerment?