editor’s note: this blog originally appeared on iactivism.org.
I’m proud to announce the winner of October’s Movies that Spark Activism contest of videos created by ‘Iolani School 7th graders. The videos spurred conversation and comments by those just learning that genocide still occurs today and seasoned activists who’ve been working for years to end the world’s worst hate crime. Here are just two:
All the short video testimonies were extremely moving and telling and you all should be very proud of the work that you are doing to bring awareness to the World in your efforts to end Genocide. I wish I could vote for more than just one. I will not reveal which one as they are all so well done.
#1 is so beautiful – made me want to weep. Also made me realize that it is all about humanity.
The movie trailers were facilitated by John Epstein from Honolulu’s ‘Iolani School. When I asked what motivated him to give his students this assignment he said,
The faculty and students of ‘Iolani School are fortunate to live in a setting often described as paradise. The beauty and tranquility of our tropical oasis often obscures the ill will toward others that exists beyond our sandy shores. My learning goal for this assignment involved exposing students to the atrocities that can occur when evil groups act ruthlessly and good people choose to do nothing to prevent terrible actions. Students were challenged to briefly research the topic of genocide, and develop a meaningful display to inform and inspire others to get involved and empower a solution. As an educator, I was amazed by the students’ sincerity in making their iMovie Trailers of Camp Darfur and completing projects creating visual statements about social awareness and social activism. Our school’s ethos is “One-Team,” and it is within that spirit that our students believe as “One-Team” we can unite to overcome global acts of genocide. Children possess the energy to challenge injustices, the moral character to know right from wrong, and the tenacity not to give up on a worthy cause. Our tasks as educators include exposing students to the challenges the world faces, supporting students’ beliefs that the world can become a better place, nurturing students’ unconquerable spirit to explore possibilities, and guiding students’ compassion to seek just ends.
AND, DRRRUUUMMMROOOOOLLLL PLEASE, the video that inspired the most people to act was made by Sidney Strasser, Torie Takeuchi, Jessica Tom, Joel Tsuchori. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is “Camp Darfur”: