The NJ Spark media teams have been hard at work the past few weeks, creating projects that all seek to bring awareness to social justice issues throughout the local area. NJ Spark is producing two documentaries, audio and photo stories, op-eds, and investigative stories. In just a short time, a lot of progress has been made.
One NJ Spark documentary team is focusing on the group New Labor, which is an organization that strives to improve the working conditions and provide a voice for immigrant workers throughout New Jersey. The documentary team attended their first “consejo” meeting at the New Labor office recently, which means a meeting with workers who are concerned with the conditions they work in, and want to discuss how to implement change.
In this meeting, the team explained to members of New Labor their plans for the upcoming documentary. Several temp workers in attendance shared their stories and spoke about the conditions in their agencies. By the end of the meeting, the team found six individuals who will be featured in their documentary. The crew will be conducting pre-interviews in the coming week.
Our other documentary team is focusing on Elijah’s Promise, a New Brunswick organization that provides food, shelter and necessities for the local homeless population. The team met with the owners of the kitchen to discuss their plans for their documentary, including Pam Johnson – the lead chef who will also in talks to be featured on the Food Network’s “Chopped.”
The team plans to give back to Elijah’s Promise by assisting with their social media presence, so that their upcoming “Turkey Bowl” walk-a-thon, which will fund their Thanksgiving dinner, can be better advertised.
The New Brunswick Backbone team attended a rally against domestic violence in New Brunswick earlier this October. They took many photos of the march, and recorded audio interviews of the participants, which included residents, students, community leaders and the New Brunswick mayor James Cahill. The team believed that the march tackled the universal issue of domestic violence in a unique way that exemplified the culture of the New Brunswick community. The team plans to create an audio story about the march, in addition to more profiles about people in New Brunswick.
Our editorial team has been busy writing weekly op-eds on different justice issues that plague New Jersey. So far, topics have included issues about crime and the Rutgers football team, gun violence on college campuses, the relationship between universities and their surrounding communities, social media activism, and more.
Check in with NJ Spark weekly for updates on the media teams’ progress, and stay tuned for the final products of all of their efforts.