While filming in schools throughout the United States last year, we met with countless beautiful professionals working in the field of SEL (Social and Emotional Learning). The teacher who had the most impact on us was Joe Martinez at Villago Middle School. You couldn’t walk 10 steps, anywhere on campus, without at least one student greeting him with a hug. Joe focused on the importance of building, and perhaps more importantly sustaining meaningful relationships. In adolescence, children rapidly become aware of the importance of social connections. Relationships are key, and they can be very challenging in middle school. Throughout our travels, I found that the most effective middle school leaders were the ones who promoted mental health and positive climate through human connection, while reinterpreting behavior programs and disciplinary models into opportunities for change.
You can visit 7 Mindsets for trailer films from all 14 schools. And while you are here, I’ll just post my favorite trailer from Chattahoochee Elementary School in Cumming, GA:
From the classroom, we leapt into a rewarding partnership with NEXUS, an organization that exists to unite young investors, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and allies to catalyze new leadership and accelerate needed political, societal, indigenous, financial, environmental, and equal justice solutions. We started at the United Nations in NY, then partnered with the Latin America region for NEXUS Miami, and since then we’ve been trying to hit as many summits as possible.
Why? The best way I could sum up the content of NEXUS would be TED Active, but projectized for impact. Here’s our trailer for last year’s USA Summit at the US Institute of Peace:
We have dozens of great interviews and 10-20 minute talks from various NEXUS Summits post at WorldChanging. But the best part is what happens beyond the gatherings. In Miami I got to spend an hour with Katie Godkin Morales, the 29-year old director of an organization called the Batey Rehab Project. Within moments of her sharing her story, I had already decided I would be traveling to the Dominican Republic. You can read about her story and watch the interview here. Today, we’ve just wrapped 27 days of combined filming for our first fully independent, feature length, cinematic documentary film.
Here’s the trailer.
What’s next? We’ve broken new ground with media and nonprofit partnerships and behind the scenes we’re breaking ground on a new mini-doc series. We’ll let that cat out as soon as we can!
After we move Batey Girl into distribution, we will announce the scope of our next feature length film. But here’s a hint: a tiny island nation in the remote Pacific is sinking due to climate change. I used to live there.
Thanks for reading – I’ll try to post more often. I’ll close with a fundraising video we just produced for the BRP. Their needs are critical and urgent and I hope you can support… https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/casa-azul/thebrp
~Ian / ian@ianbryan dotk0nm