Video Workshops teach teenagers to share impact of their parents' incarceration

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Over the course of several perfectly sunny Saturday afternoons, I gathered a group of teenagers and young adults who have in some way been affected by having an incarcerated parent. We met at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, where I planned to teach them how to use video to document how their parents’ incarceration has affected their lives.

These folks were motivated by a desire to share their experience so that others who were in their position realized they were not alone. But these video workshops provide another important benefit.

click for slideshow

click for slideshow

These young adults and teenagers get to interact with some CUNY graduate students who I think are fantastic role models. It also gives them a chance to learn skills that could help get them jobs later, like being a video-journalists, or event videographers or in the entertainment industry. The possibilities are endless especially after we go through a series of workshops that teach students how to use digital cameras and audio recorders. We’ll also focus on using Apple computers for video, photo and sound editing and we’ll explore how to use several Internet tools for sharing information.

One of the top goals of the Family Life Behind Bars project is to give back to the community that the project is documenting. Journalists are often accusing of swooping down for story, asking others to share very personal stories, and then moving on. Here is a chance to start a different relationship.

If you are part of an organization that works with people who have a family member in prison, and you want to arrange a workshop, I would be happy to work with you.

Did I mention that there is no charge for the workshops?

If you are interested, please contact me at [email protected]sinfocus.org.

About Sandeep Junnarkar

Sandeep Junnarkar is the founder and editorial director of Family Lives Behind Bars.