In 2012, a group of filmmakers decided to try to tell the story of their friend as she embarked on a journey to change her life. A young woman who’s life had hit a road block was suddenly offered a chance to be part of the community. Following her story, they realized that the initial goal of promoting the passage of the DREAM Act was only one of many things that would clear the way for their friend to realize her potential. The story was much more complicated than they anticipated.
In 2014, filmmaker Hana Leshner was commissioned to create a short piece about a non-profit in a small Texas border town. The non-profit was formed to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and to provide support to the marginalized LGBT community there. This non-profit was a success story in the public health community in Texas as it used a non-traditional method of intervention (providing mental health services for free to those in need) as a way to reach its target audience. Formed in 2009, the non-profit was the result of an effort known as community mobilization.
Learn first, then act.
Community mobilization is a process that can be used to tackle many social problems. After engaging the stakeholders and community members in conversations about the specific issue, not only is the community energized to become involved, but those seeking to take action often find new ways to address the problem, which they might never have considered before.
Community mobilization is about letting the story dictate the action.
Struck by the similarities between documentary storytelling which allows the story to develop as its being documented and the community mobilization process, Leshner founded Mobilize Media Partners, a filmmaking collective geared towards using content and social media to support social problem-solving.
Carol Martori – Filmmaker & Editor