“My Neighborhood is full of hatred,” a Chicago girl’s video story

Pictures flash by. He is dead. He is dead too. A crushing family legacy of loss.
The picture of the street outside her door appears darkly fearsome. She worries, she says, as she goes out on the street.
But Amber Ellis’ message is that she is a survivor, a believer, a person with a foot on future’s up escalator.
Check her video, above. It’s a powerful story told with even greater strength when you appreciate the story-telling quality of this sophomore from Gary Comer College Prep.
She is one of dozens who’ve benefited in the last decade from the work of Free Spirit Media, a youth media development program that works with youngsters at five Chicago schools.
And they are one of 11 youth programs that belong to the Chicago Youth Voices Network, a unique and inspiring collection hard to find anywhere on this globe.
The gift of Free Spirit Media, beyond its being there, is its belief, as founder Jeff McCarter explains, of helping youths to tell their stories in their own voices.
And Amber’s, as he says, is about loss and about maybe being the last one standing, but standing up nonetheless to live a life fulfilled.
This is a story that could easily fit into whatever you are writing about this summer in terms of teens and violence and the positive steps being taken to deal with this tragedy. If you need help connecting with any of the programs, or putting together a package of stories, I’d gladly help out.
So, too, if you have any you want to showcase or pass along, please do so.

Written by on June 15, 2010

Filed Under: ETHNIC MEDIA, Uncategorized