Charlotte filmmaker directs racial justice film for national college course – WSOC TV

With the launch of United for Equality, Strayer University continues its partnership with the Blackhouse Foundation, a leading voice that works to elevate and increase the number of diverse voices in cinema.

United for Equality (UFE) builds on Strayer’s work of infusing documentary-style shorts into online course content by engaging students in the stories of three racial justice organizations told through the goal of black filmmakers.

In one of the films, directed by Charlotte-based director Asa Kryst, a filmmaker with a passion for visual storytelling, students will explore the impact of the Urban League of Central Carolinas, an organization that advocates for and equips African Americans. and all underserved communities. with tools to achieve social and economic equality.

“We are delighted that showing how groups like the ULCC are working to tackle the long history of inequality in this country can educate students and be another step towards a more equitable future,” said Teddy McDaniel, III, President and CEO of the Urban League of Central Carolines.

The ULCC film is one of three stories featured in the course Strayer’s Sociology 210: Social Intelligence, which launched this summer, allowing students to hear directly from the ULCC, as well as the Black Women’s Health Imperative and FirstHand, on how each organization addresses racial inequalities and promotes change in their local communities and in society at large.

“We hope that students will learn through the film how our organization is addressing the root causes of economic instability by providing the job training and financial empowerment necessary to open the door to new career opportunities,” said McDaniel.

The Blackhouse Foundation strives to expand opportunities for black content creators by providing pathways to opportunities within film, television, digital and emerging platforms.

“Part of my job as a storyteller is to convey the emotion behind every story,” Kryst said. “By working with the ULCC, this job has become even easier. ULCC advocates are deeply committed to advancing the important mission of economic equality, and you can see their conviction both on screen and in the community.

Through each documentary, students will gain practical advice for advocacy in their personal lives, explore critical thinking strategies that will help them understand different perspectives, and discover how they too are agents of change who can significantly contribute to creating a more united and equitable future. .

“If we can instill even a fraction of this passion in the students who are interested in my film, our company will be better off,” Kryst said.

“Teaching students about equality means having honest conversations about how far we’ve come as a society and how far we still have to go,” said Brickson Diamond, chairman of the board of the Blackhouse Foundation. “We at the Blackhouse Foundation look forward to continuing our partnership with Strayer to demonstrate the impact of social justice work in cities across the country. “

Blackhouse offers minority creatives the opportunity to learn about financial, production, marketing and distribution resources that will raise the profile of their content, while providing participants with a core of ongoing support, community and education.

The films are produced by Strayer Studios, a production arm of Strayer University that infuses the program with interactive film stories produced by award-winning filmmakers to engage students and help them grasp the subject matter in a more meaningful way.

Strayer and the Blackhouse Foundation began their partnership in 2020 with an activation at the Sundance Film Festival, celebrating the diversity of writers in academic content and film.

“Strayer believes in the power of storytelling. These compelling stories bring to life the real difference a hands-on approach can make in the fight for racial justice and challenge our students to take action to improve their own communities, ”said Andrea Backman, University President. Strayer.



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