March 2, 2021
“Pass the Mic” features new, community-led documentaries on Miami challenges exacerbated by COVID-19
The March 31st event is presented by Community Justice Project and Oolite Arts
March 2, 2021 (MIAMI) — An eviction notice, missed meals, an incessant worry that your partner may get COVID-19 while detained and awaiting trial. The pandemic has exacerbated many of the challenges Miamians face every day, and three new documentaries are spotlighting how true community experts are searching for solutions.
On March 31, Community Justice Project, in collaboration with Oolite Arts, will host “Pass the Mic: We Will Tell Our Stories,” a virtual screening of new films developed with a model of participatory storytelling. In these pieces, Miami’s community experts are driving the narrative and telling the story of their lived experiences in partnership with the local filmmakers, bringing attention to the fight for equitable access to food, housing and demands to release people who are incarcerated amid COVID-19.
As part of its Cinematic Arts Program, Oolite Arts commissioned the short documentaries by Vanessa Charlot, Alicia G. Edwards and Fxrbes. The filmmakers worked in partnership with tenants’ rights organizer Mychelle Bentley, Sherina Jones and Danny Agnew of the mutual aid project the Village Free(dge), and Lizabeth Torres, working with incarcerated rights group Beyond the Bars.
To RSVP for “Pass the Mic,” which will include a post-screening discussion, visit oolitearts.org/pass-the mic.
“The people on the front lines, the people who live these very real experiences, can tell us what is happening, what is needed and they should be the ones leading the conversations around solutions,” said Nadege Green, Director of Community Research and Storytelling at Community Justice Project. “In this project we pass the mic to community members to do just that. Now all we have to do is listen deeply and support them.”
Community Justice Project will continue working with these leaders and their affiliated organizations, using the films to engage more people in solutions and building collective power locally, Green said.
Oolite Arts, the Miami-Beach organizations that works to advance the careers of Miami-based artists, believes that filmmakers have an important role to play in communities.
“The arts can play a powerful role in the search for social justice,” said Dennis Scholl, president and CEO of Oolite Arts. “ Real stories, like the ones told through Pass the Mic can cause you to see the world in a different way, and can move people to action.”
“Pass the Mic: We Will Tell Our Stories”
Presented by Community Justice Project and Oolite Arts
7 p.m. March 31, 2021, online
About The Community Justice Project
Community Justice Project is a group of community lawyers and researchers that supports grassroots organizing for power, racial justice and human rights with innovative lawyering, research and creative strategy tools. Based in Miami, Community Justice Project is deeply and unapologetically committed to Black and brown communities throughout Florida.
About Oolite Arts
Oolite Arts helps Miami-based artists advance their careers and inspires the cultural community to engage with their work. Established in 1984, Oolite Arts is both a community and a resource, providing visual artists with the studio space, exhibition opportunities and financial support they need to experiment, grow and enrich the city. Through its educational programming, Oolite Arts helps Miamians learn about contemporary art and develop their own artistic skills. For more, visit oolitearts.org.
About the Filmmakers
Vanessa Charlot is a Haitian- American documentary photographer and filmmaker working in Miami, Fla. and St. Louis, Missouri. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Sociology from Florida Atlantic University. Her work focuses on the intersectionality of spirituality, socio-economic issues and sexual/gender expression within marginalized communities. The purpose of her work is to produce visual representations of varied human existences that are free of an oppressive gaze.
Alicia G. Edwards, a storyteller, began her career as an investigative news producer with stints at CNN and NBC. She has written for numerous newspapers including The Miami Herald and The New Orleans Times-Picayune. Currently, she is a Contributing Editor at the Progress Report for Un idosUS, formerly La Raza. Her previous work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Florida Humanities Council, and Oolite Arts. Her BA, with a major focus in Latin American and Caribbean History, was earned at Florida State University. She holds an MA in Transnational Communications and the Global Media from the University of London, UK.
Fxrbes is a Miami-based award-winning director whose work has helped launch a generation of creatives. Most notable for his YouTube platform and vision, Fxrbes has built an outlet for other creatives to be heard. This platform, “Fxrbes,” brought together a network of musical artists, garnered over 60,000 subscribers and collectively his videos have amassed over 100 million views. Today, Fxrbes is taking the same creativity which has helped him direct musical artists and has moved into the world of storytelling through documentary. The March 31st event is presented by Community Justice Project and Oolite Arts.
Marika Lynch, [email protected], 305-898-3595
Images and video available upon request