Telenovelas tend to replicate intimate partner abuse, and this is your invitation to become part of a project that provides young women with the tools to re-envision the world they wish to live in. In our workshop series, thirty (30) young women from South Los Angeles ages 15 - 18 will rewrite scenes from TV shows in collaboration with their counterparts from Guatemala. They will then produce short videos that normalize healthy relationships and later obtain internships with their new knowledge.
As a result of our pilot programs in this community with funding from the City of Los Angeles, we learned that the majority of our young female participants had experienced dating violence, some form of unwanted sexual advance or attention, and/or have witnessed domestic violence in their homes. In Watts, almost half of the population lives below the poverty line. Less than half of the population has obtained a high school diploma.
There exists a dire need to provide programming where youth can dialogue about their observations of injustice and re-interpret a life free of violence. Our technology and storytelling courses are designed to guide teens to find solutions alongside trained mentors. This program spans the course of nine months, utilizing our mentor model to allow teens to create positive relationships with relatable adults who have overcome similar issues of dating violence and sexual harassment.
We foresee that the young women who partake in our nine-month series will finish high school, and that the majority will continue on to college. We believe that the letters of recommendation written by the mentors and the internship and volunteer opportunities will lead the participants to gainful employment within two to three years of the course. If the young women are faced with dating violence or sexual harassment, or if they know someone who is, they will know where to turn to for help.