Have you seen A New Light in Harlem?

Do you know a young person who wants to be a leader in public service? Get access to world-class preparatory coursework and field experience without amassing piles of debt? Are you a scholar, educator, or community organizer looking to break down walls between the Academy and the surrounding community? Who knows that in order to find better answers to pressing questions of the 21st century, we need to hear more voices? Watch and learn more about the mission of the Colin Powell School—"A New Light in Harlem."

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Social Justice for the Classroom: Part 2 of a Two-Part Series

In my previous post, I suggested we must capitalize on the momentum of social justice movements aided and propelled by social media. How, I asked, can we educate our youth and emphasize to them the possibilities for “doing good” through the technology they use every day? For those taking up this question—activists, educators, artists, and others—this is an exciting time. Never before have we had access to so much information and ways to share ideas and our stories. As an educator and activist, I am empowered by these tools in conjunction with the new Common Core Education Standards emphasis on teaching nonfiction: It’s a perfect opportunity to re-emphasize current events and civics education. And so I created the American Justice Missing in Action Project (#ajmia), (www.ajmia.tumblr.com) a new initiative dedicated to engaging students in conversations about race, class and gender—what I call the intersections of injustice.

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Alumni Profile: Savanna Washington '10

"Is there a place for me in the Powell Center?" I get this question from prospective students frequently, but none ask with more frequency than the students studying Media Arts.  They wonder aloud if it is possible to successfully connect their passion for film, television, and performance with their interest in policy and service. That is when I tell them about Savanna Washington(Graduate Powell Fellow '10).

Before CCNY and the Powell Fellowship, Savanna studied Communications at Michigan State and Film at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She eventually found her way to the to the City College of New York where she studied Media Arts and found a new home as a Colin Powell Graduate Fellow.

Savanna came to the Powell Center as a self described activist filmmaker searching for a subject.  She remarks, "I look to use my work to affect public policy positively and to assist undeserved populations." In short, Savannah wants to give voice to the voiceless.

At the April 23, 2010 "Korean Reunification Regional Peace and the 2010 Decade" conference Savanna found one of her issues. After a day of conversation led by some of the worlds foremost experts on Korean reunification, she felt compelled to address the humanitarian crisis in North Korea. Recalling that day Savanna notes, "At that moment, quite a few of the people I needed to talk to were in the room."

Never resting, Savanna has kept many irons in the fire - she recently finished shooting another documentary Greening of the Bronx and last spring she traveled to Cyprus to participate in a conference that confronts the media's role in escalating and deescalating conflict. She is about to enter post-production on her North Korea documentary, and would like to extend her thanks to the Korea Society for their help and support throughout the project.

We look forward to following Savanna's progress; whatever she chooses to address, be it issues of environmental justice or the challenges facing the Korean peninsula, Savanna will undoubtedly amplify and expand the conversation. - Colin Dixon

Colin Dixon is the program coordinator for student leadership at the Colin Powell Center. Read more about him and our other contributing authors.