“It’s important to use your voice to bring attention to political issues that affect people on a personal level and a great way to do that is storytelling through filmmaking.” – Mahya, age 13, Muslim Youth Voices Project participant
Mahya is one of the 3.45 million + Americans who identify as Muslim or Muslim American. She is also one of the youth who shared her stories and experiences as part of our Muslim Youth Voices Project workshops in Portland, Oregon last year.
CAAM launched the Muslim Youth Voices Project (MYVP) four years ago, thanks to support from valued supporters and a multi-year grant from the from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program. This national program empowers young Muslim and Muslim Americans like Mahya to share their authentic stories, experiences and voices with each other and the world, through the power of film.
Mahya’s short film tells the story of two Iranian sisters whose lives were impacted by the 2017 travel ban. Inspired by the lives of people in her community, Mahya’s film helps us understand the terrible and unnecessary impact of the ban on everyday people.
Programs like the Muslim Youth Voices Project help build empathy for communities targeted by rising xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination, while also dispelling harmful stereotypes and inaccurate perceptions about Muslims and Muslim Americans.
Under the guidance of Emmy award-winning Muslim filmmaker and MYVP Artistic Director Musa Syeed and our team of instructors, Mahya and her fellow participants from throughout the United States (44 youth from workshops held in Fremont, CA; New York, New York; Minneapolis, MN; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; and Plano, TX.), made 32 short films over three years. These films were presented at CAAMFest, with many of the young filmmakers in attendance, and other film festivals across the United States.
You can stream Mahya’s film and the 31 other short films made by Mahya and her peers through the CAAM-supported national broadcast premiere of the films on public television by our friends at WORLD Channel and PBS. Stream the films on the WORLD Channel’s website and using the PBS app. Learn more about the streaming schedule and watch the program trailer on our blog. We’re proud that millions of people will soon have the chance to watch these stories and learn more about the experiences and perspectives of these youth in their own words.
Your gift would uplift more storytellers who represent the evolving American experiment now and into the future. Make a tax-deductible donation to CAAM by December 31, 2018 securely online at CAAMedia.org/Donate.
Thanks to CAAM Board Members Christopher Au, Hanson Li, Naja Lockwood, and an anonymous board member, all donations received by December 31, 2018 and up to $11,000, will be matched. Donate today and your gift will have twice the impact.
Here are 3 other ways you can help all Americans understand Asian Americans’ experiences:
- Increase your impact by requesting a matching donation from your employer. For more information, please contact Jennifer Chu, Membership Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 863-0814 extension 102.
- Encourage 3 people to join you as a supporter of Asian American storytellers
- Share why you support our community’s storytellers on social media using the hashtag #StoriestoLight