Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays 2010

As 2010 comes to a close, I wanted to take this time to wish you and yours a happy holiday season and to thank those of you who have supported me and my work this year. This has been a highly productive and inspirational year for me in which I have been lucky to work with amazing colleagues from both the development and creative worlds. It has been extremely exciting - scary at times! - in trying to find new ways to combine efforts to unite people and save lives. I couldn't do it without the support, trust and attention of so many of you so THANK YOU!

Here's to an even greater 2011!


Highlights of 2010

- June 2010: Accepted as one of 25 filmmakers for the prestigious CPB/PBS Producer's Academy at WGBH.

- June 2010: Curated and screened "Not Yet Rain" and "Youth Zones" at the "Cinema Corner", was a presenter on Christy Turlington's film panel and secured live entertainment for the historic WOMEN DELIVER conference in Washington, DC.

- August 2010: "Youth Zones" - a film profiling young people from Lebanon, Liberia, Colombia, Northern Uganda and New Orleans who share stories of struggle and resilience in the face of conflicts and natural disasters screened at the UN General Assembly for the launch of the International Year of the Youth. Produced with UNFPA and the Women's Refugee Commission (look for our revamped website in 2011.)

- August 2010: Featured (remote) presenter for the "Maternal Health Digital" panel at the Global Maternal Health Conference in New Dehli, India.

- September 2010: Launched - a social media site that unites artists and activists for maternal health - with Grammy-winning artist, Maya Azucena, at the MDG Summit. With support from EngenderHealth, UNFPA, IpasWomen Deliver and Reality Digital.

- September 2010: Featured speaker/presenter at the UN Digital Media Lounge on "Reel Impact: The Power of Film to Change Lives" which was featured on the home page of

- September 2010: Selected as a Special Media Guest for the TEDxChange summit sponsored by and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

- August/September 2010: Traveled to Swaziland and Kenya for the production of an AIDStar One project for JSI, funded by USAID.

- November 2010: Finalized film, "The Silence is Deafening" on preeclampsia for the Preeclampsia Foundation. Produced with the help of young filmmakers in Singapore, Tanzania, and Florida.

- December 2010: Finalized film, "When Peace Comes" on women, war and peace for UNIFEM (Part of UN Women) for the 10-year anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325. Produced with the help of a young filmmaker in Sudan.

- March 2010: Received Pepsi Refresh Mini-Grant for Urban Word NYC for a live recording of "LIFE FOR LIFE", a poem/song on maternal health which was featured in this MTV Commercial.

- February 2010: Launched UrbanWordLIVE - a live streaming of Urban Word NYC's Annual Teen Poetry Slam

- Screenings and Keynotes: Gene Siskel Film Center, Columbia University, Yale University, Middlebury College, Global Health Council Annual Conference, Unite for Sight Conference, National Abortion Federation Annual Conference, National Youth Leadership Forum.

2011 Projections

- Develop and produce short film on use of mobile phones for maternal health advocacy.

- Build as the "go to" site on arts/artists and maternal health. Solicit more creative content from professional artists for International Women's Day.

- Produce an "Arts and Advocacy" pilot project illustrating how UN/NGO agencies can attract and retain the involvement of artists in global health advocacy.

- Conduct training workshops for emerging filmmakers interested in development work both in NYC and Africa.

- Finalize spoken word/film "41" with award-winning poet and actor, Carlos Andres Gomez.

- Finalize music video for SLUMCODE Group, a youth artist collective from slums of Nairobi.

- Develop new film, "Travels of a Lyrical Ambassador" on the work and words of legendary emcee, hip hop artist, Toni Blackman.

- Begin writing script on life and work of Pete O'Neal.

- Finalize fictional script with Urban Word poets.

- Continue building linkages with professional filmmakers and musicians around the world on my contracted work.

- Continue fundraising for production funds for "The Parliament of One" and "Myth of the Motherland."