Have these hashtags been on your mind or in your social media feed in the last year?
In the light of many distressing national realities about *difference* & inequality, I have been trying to imagine a local way to address these problems.
- There is no one way that we can end discrimination.
- There is no one way that we can eliminate the structures of inequality that perpetuate injustice.
- There is no one way that we can see past our own narrowmindedness toward inclusion and engagement.
- There is no one way that we can heal the wounds of cruelty, stigma, exclusion and repression.
And sometimes we feel like because these problems aren't easily solved, because they're so deep and long-term, because they're so integrated into the fabric of our lives? We feel like doing nothing.
Or just doing what we have always done.
But because I am not okay just doing what I have been doing, and because I want to make a change in the part of the world where I live, I have come up with an idea that is built on something I've known and cared about for a long time:
WE NEED KNOW MORE STORIES.
We need stories about the experience of people that are DIFFERENT than us. Empathy is the first (and an essential) step toward change. I came up with the idea that maybe I could motivate more filmmakers to leverage their talents and ambitions toward making STORIES ABOUT DIFFERENCE by developing a prize through the Canton Film Festival. The prize would leverage a cash reward, a juried award and a screening at the historic Canton Palace Theatre. This initiative is also supported by the Stark County District Library (who will also archive the films made for this project) and by Coming Together Stark County.
This prize aims at circulating more stories about "color" (difference, diversity, inequality, change, hope) in Stark County where I live.
The prize will be established ONLY if y'all choose to support it. I hope you do.