Rediscovering Community

“Never doubt that a group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

This idea resonates with our department and is the reason why we encourage students to explore social advocacy, pursue civic engagement, and practice leadership in a global environment. The exciting thing about our Emerson majors, is that they do all those things–with passion and creativity.

One example of this was the Rosarito Film Festival Celebration, which took place earlier this month. As part of the ongoing Rediscover Rosarito image restoration campaign, six Emerson graduate students traveled to Rosarito, Mexico with Emerson professor, Dr. Gregory Payne, over Columbus Day weekend. On Saturday, October 8, 2011, the students hosted “4 Años del Rosarito Film Festival” at local venue, the Lizard Lounge.  Through a collaboration with Lizard Lounge owner, Sam Graves, the event showcased student films created throughout the four-year lifespan of the Rosarito Film Festival.

The Rosarito Film Festival is a weeklong workshop made possible by a collaboration of alums, faculty, and students of Emerson College; Rediscover Rosarito; The L.A. Internship Program; Campus Movie Fest; the Rosarito Beach Hotel; and the former Mayor of Rosarito, Hugo Torres.  Working in teams, students from Rosarito are given a camera, tripod, microphone, and computer and have one week to shoot and edit a film that showcases their vantage point on Rosarito.  This fall’s event celebrated student achievement, and brought together student filmmakers and community members for a discussion of how festival films can be further used to promote more positive perceptions of Rosarito.

The Emerson graduate students, Taja Glover, Prang Pongtana, Nahla Abualula, Lin Zhou, and Kaitlin Barnes of the Communication Management program and Amy Lo of the Integrated Marketing Communication program, engaged in a variety of activities and events designed to use public diplomacy to promote accurate perceptions of Rosarito.  During this weekend trip, students filmed community events, such as the Puerto Nuevo Lobster Festival, and interviewed local community members.  Taja Glover, a second-year student in Emerson’s Communication Management program, captured footage to use in a 30-minute television show she plans to produce for the Boston Neighborhood Network; the program will detail the Rediscover Rosarito project and its impact. The students also filmed personal testimonials describing their experiences in Rosarito and the project’s applicability for their professional aspirations;

The group’s next big event will be this December. Students will host an art and wine exposition in Boston, which will feature the work of renowned Baja artists, including David Silvah, and wine from the Guadalupe Valley in Baja California, Mexico. Keep an eye out for more details so that you can attend!

Mahatma Ghandi said it best: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Our students are.

Best,
Sandy

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