Dana Solet is one of the coordinators of the United Houma Nation's Youth Media Team, and her excitement about using new media is contagious. This video includes an interview with her and other participants in a Bridge the Gulf youth media workshop in Terrebonne Parish -- in the bayous of southern Louisiana. The goal was to help a group of young people document current challenges in their communities, particularly how the BP oil disaster is affecting their lives.
The workshop took place on July 23rd and 24th, when Tropical Storm Bonnie was deciding where to land and how much trouble to make. The participants were eager to learn as much as they could before their families had to decide whether or not to evacuate. Ultimately evacuation wasn't necessary, and the training ended just as the rain began.
We had organized the youth media event in conjunction with a regional gathering -- titled "Restoring Our Coast, Our Communities, Ourselves" -- that was organized by the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health and the Gulf Coast Sustainable Communities Network.
This opportunity for young people to develop skills and have access to mentors and tools is the beginning of our effort to fulfill an important goal of Bridge the Gulf – to provide not only an online forum, but also an educational resource for communities seeking new ways to share their stories and ideas for positive change. We've also provided support for workshops in Moss Point, Miss., organized by the Gulf Coast Sustainable Communities Network and led by media trainers from New Orleans Video Voices and 2-Cent Entertainment.
Please take a look at the video and stay tuned for the work that these young media makers create.
LEAH MAHAN has been working on documentary films since 1988, when her life was changed by an internship with filmmaker Henry Hampton on the Eyes on the Prize series about the civil rights movement. She recently received a Sundance Documentary Fund grant and will complete her documentary about Turkey Creek in 2011.