Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) August 16, 2014
"Katrina's 7th: Transcending Racial Negativity" is a new youth-outreach media tool developed by Cool Breeze Communications. It is designed to support the work of educators/counselors trying to help youth counter the culture of bigotry, harassment and hate violence.
The DVD/Discussion Guide is based on their short, family-oriented film “Katrina’s 7th”—which brings a positive message to the African-American community. By exploring how negative racial messages are gradually internalized and passed from generation to generation, the film illuminates the profound impact of these messages on a child’s self-image.
According to Dr. Alvin Poussaint (psychiatrist and educator), “A child's primary identity comes from the parent. It's only at ages 3, 4 and 5 that kids even begin to think about color.” Poussaint adds that too often, adults/parents “unknowingly translate negative messages to children."
The DVD raises awareness—prompting parents to (1) be more responsible with the messages they give their children, and (2) recognize how demeaning/racist language can easily lead to harassment, discrimination and hate violence.
"We’re committed to getting this program into the capable hands of as many professionals teaching and mentoring youth as possible," explains Roger Edwards (producer for Cool Breeze Communications).
“The use of demeaning and derogatory language is pervasive,” says Edwards. He believes that prejudice, harassment, and hate violence can be traced back to a climate of demeaning language. According to Stephen Wessler (director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Hate Violence, at University of Southern Maine), there is a pattern of escalation from demeaning language “to more focused harassment, to threats and, finally, to violence.”
Edwards reasons that attitudes and behaviors are harder to change once they’re fixed in adult minds. “So, any hope for meaningful social change requires earlier intervention... with our children.”
Edwards and his team want to:
1. Package the DVD with a Resource/Discussion Guide and
2. Make it available (at no cost) to educators, early childhood development professionals, counselors, and community organizations.
HOW TO HELP:
With school budgets across the country being slashed, and a growing number of educators having to come out-of-pocket for ‘essential’ school supplies, finding the resources to purchase an ‘unconventional’ tool like theirs can be a hardship for many teachers. “So, we want to remove this hardship,” affirms Edwards, “and make our media tool freely available.”
To do this, Cool Breeze Communications is launching a campaign to raise $10,035.00, which will enable them to prepare up to 1000 copies of the DVD/Discussion Guide package for distribution. The funds will offset order fulfillment costs.
The IFP—their fiscal sponsor—is accepting tax-deductible donations on behalf of this grassroots distribution campaign.
To support this campaign, visit the “Katrina’s 7th” project page (http://fiscal.ifp.org/project.cfm/410/Katrinas-7th/) to make a donation.
After winning at the Cinema City International Film Festival, “Katrina’s 7th” went on to resonate with audiences at other festivals. It was at festival and community screenings where educators and community leaders expressed growing interest in using the project to help facilitate discussions as they work with youth. “This was when it became clear that our film could—and should—be part of a broader community-outreach,” says Edwards.
“Thank you for bringing a critical issue for discussion to our church,” comments one Raleigh, NC youth pastor. “The DVD format made it easier to facilitate the discussion. Without a doubt, we must take notice of how what we say shapes lives in ways we can’t imagine.” A youth counselor, wrote back saying, “We must turn destructive stereotypes on their heads and pursue the messages that enhance lives.”
Edwards is practical when defining success. “For the short-term, it’s getting these 1000 packages out the door and into the hands of the educators that are eager to put it to use.” Longer term, he agrees with Stephen Wessler’s assessment that, “There is no one project that will eliminate hate and prejudice or end violence.”
Referring to the old Chinese proverb (“It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness”), Edwards likens 1000 distributed packages to 1000 lit candles that can start changing the culture by helping educators, parents and community members interrupt the language … one youth at a time. “If they inspire others to light their own candles,” says Edwards, “that's true success.”
ABOUT COOL BREEZE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.:
Based in North Carolina, Cool Breeze Communications, Inc. is an independent production company that creates original, high-quality, filmed entertainment that reinforces positive messages about life, love, and the human spirit. In collaboration with other organizations, Cool Breeze’s mission is to produce programs and media tools that cleverly weave entertainment and community-outreach—promoting racial, ethnic, and religious diversity and understanding.