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To celebrate Freedom House’s 75th anniversary, Blue Chalk traveled to Mexico and Kenya to film a short documentary profiling human rights defenders.

In Monterrey, Mexico, we followed Sister Consuelo Morales, who has dedicated her life to seeking justice for Mexico's Disappeared. In Nairobi, Kenya, we followed a photojournalist and activist, Boniface Mwangi, who fights for the respect of human rights and freedom of expression.

Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world, has partnered with Morales and Mwangi in order to amplify their voices and support them in their very important work.

Although Morales and Mwangi are working in completely different environments, they are both taking a stand against injustice and are empowering people around them to reclaim their most basic human rights.

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Hot glass is a short documentary piece that tells the story of a skilled offhand glassblower who is transgender and undergoing a gender identity transition. Lorraine a great example of following your dreams and being true to oneself.

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Love and gender have no bounds. Humyns is a film about the way the world sees gender at the cross-section of love. The goal of the film is to move past the common stereotyped ideas of gender variance. The film primarily focuses on the transgender community, but will explore multiple perspectives.

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Blue Chalk worked with The Oregon School Boards Association to explore a remarkable story taking place in Baker City, a small, rural town tucked between Eagle Cap Wilderness and the Elkhorn Mountains in eastern Oregon.

While other agriculturally-dependent towns struggle to stay viable, Baker City is investing in its community and economy with the Baker Technical Institute. The institute offers career pathways in construction, industrial and engineering systems, health services and agriculture. In addition to its offerings in career and technical education (CTE), the institute emphasizes science and math skills.

The Blue Chalk team spoke with students and learned how the institute has helped them to develop new skills and has given them new career options.

This is the fourth of a series of films created for OSBA's "The Promise of Oregon" 2016 campaign. These videos are designed to encourage schools and the public to “dream bigger” about what is possible for Oregon’s schools.

Natalie Taylor, Producer
Julianne Parker , Producer
Jason Greene, Director of Photography
Natalie Taylor, Editor
Rob Finch, Editor
Elizabeth Lim, Music

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Brenda Muhammad is an amazing, active member of the Syracuse south side community. I was proud to meet her and produce this video, used to recognize her in receiving her Unsung Heroes award.

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Werdi’s journey from the oppressive environment of northern Somalia to a refugee camp where he spent nearly four years, then coming to Syracuse without knowing any English is one of great trials and upheavals, yet his laugh can warm a room an instant. While being an outsider is always difficult, navigating his constantly changing situation, and finding his own path through sports, clubs, religion, and the support of his family--Werdi has built a community around himself.
Werdi plays a starting position on the soccer team. He is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and DECA. Werdi prays five times daily, including during school in a prayer room. His faith as a Muslim plays a major role the shaping of his worldview. Much of his motivation comes from soccer--his dream is to become a major league soccer coach and lead his team to the world cup.
He is the oldest of nine children and takes a major role in watching and raising his brothers and sisters. Werdi’s journey is a wonderful example of how resilient a person can be, yet still smile brightly.

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