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Teaser


"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." - Nelson Mandela

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Teaser


"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." - Nelson Mandela

TEASER

In recent years, change in San Francisco’s SoMa district has accelerated with drastic effects. Caught in the whirlwind of issues created by development without consideration, Bobbie Washington, the heart and soul of the district's only elementary school, clings to the last remaining thread of a vibrant and diverse community. Can Bobbie resist economic forces and continue to be the desperately needed champion for her students and community?

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Home


Home


THE PROJECT

storytelling for community empowerment and just outcomes

“Society's Soul” is a new form of social justice storytelling and community planning. Our motivation is to create a more just and equal San Francisco. Our goal is to combine urban planning with the art of documentary filmmaking to generate long-term housing solutions.  

The project will culminate in six to eight short-form documentary films that amplify stories about the challenges of living without permanent housing. As part of the process of generating stories, we will conduct surveys, workshops and other forms of community engagement that are inclusive, informative, and empowering.  We will focus our films and community engagement  on  the students and families experiencing homelessness, eviction and gentrification at Bessie Carmichael School, the only public school in the rapidly developing SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco. We aim to leverage these stories to make certain that housing programs and city plans take the needs of these families into consideration.

We are a small team of activists, storytellers, photographers, urban planners and filmmakers. We wish to offer our expertise but we know this project will only be possible with the trust, access and collaboration of  the Bessie Carmichael School community. We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the many dedicated parents, teachers, community leaders, city agencies’ staff and representatives from business organizations.

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Issues


Issues


EXPLORING THE ISSUES

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a new era of housing

Our nation is rethinking how to create stable housing that leads to thriving and successful lives and communities. For decades we have known the human indignity of housing insecurity and homelessness often leads to low academic achievement, unemployment, mental illness, and at the extreme, violent crime. Yet this is the life we subject many of our most vulnerable, our children.

 

 
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Family HomelessnesS

In San Francisco alone, Compass Family Services estimates there are 3,000 children experiencing homelessness. At Bessie Carmichael School, 20% of its student population is homeless. While the SOMA area’s office, tech, industrial and residential sectors are being radically improved, many families at Bessie have been left behind. These families live with relatives and friends, or at emergency and transitional shelters, and are one argument away from living on the streets. Our interactive documentary series seeks to expose these issues and to explore solutions because the fate of our children is the future of our city.

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Impact


Impact


Impact Innovation Of Society's Soul

We are incorporating community engagement directly into our documentary filmmaking project so that social impact and policy change occur in tandem with story development. Many social impact filmmaking projects create the film first and measure impact after, using abstract measurement methods. Society’s Soul’s innovation is to simultaneously include, as part of the team, a community engagement specialist who will work closely with the filmmakers, the Bessie Carmichael community, and city agencies to collaborate on effective stories that can impact policy,  

We look forward to engaging with audience members and supporters beyond the Bessie Carmichael community because we understand that changes in housing policy can take many forms including city, state and federal-level legislation, and that we can learn from innovative housing models from all over the world.

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subscribe & donate


subscribe & donate


If you consider yourself a part of the Bessie Carmichael School community, here are three ways to engage with the project:

 

Workshops: Join us at upcoming workshops designed for students and their families to express their understanding of how the city is meeting or not meeting their housing needs. We want  to empower community members to create the change they want to see.

Stories: Assist in our search for folks who are ready to share their personal stories around housing insecurity. We want to hear from families at Bessie who are experiencing homelessness as well as any other members who are actively engaged in creating a stronger community.

Survey: Fill out our survey here:

 

If you consider yourself a part of the general audience, here are three ways to engage with the project:

 

Subscribe: Because we are structuring the story development process of Society’s Soul as an interaction between our audience and ourselves, we are constantly seeking input from all who are concerned with the issues of affordable housing and homelessness in San Francisco and beyond.  Please join our mailing list for updates on our project or post comments here:

 

Donate: If you believe film and community engagement are effective ways to demystify homelessness and create permanent affordable housing then please consider contributing by donating to help fund the costs to produce the Society’s Soul project.

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Social Media: Follow us on social media and help us spread the word.

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Team


Team


 

TEAM

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Ken Fisher (director)

Ken is a San Francisco based artist, documentary filmmaker, creative director and social justice storyteller. He is the founder of Truth Be Told Creative, an awarded boutique film shop on a mission to tell social justice documentary impact stories. He is also the founder of the Economic Justice Project.

 
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MICHELLE ZUCKER (COMMUNITY IMPACT)

Michelle is a passionate urban designer and artist based in San Francisco. She is the founder of Restart [your city], a collaborative organization working to empower our communities through strategic design.

 
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FAY DARMAWI (producer)

Fay Darmawi is a film festival producer, community development banker, and urban planner interested using all forms of media to create lasting social change. She is the Founder and Executive Producer of the SF Urban Film Fest, a film festival focused on civic engagement inspired by great storytelling based in San Francisco.

 
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JANET DELANEY (PHOTOGRAPHER)

Janet Delaney is a photographer and educator. She has received numerous awards, most notably three National Endowment for the Arts Grants. She is an adjunct lecturer in Visual Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and is now working on her second book about San Francisco in the 1980s.

 
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Contact Us


Contact Us


 
 

Contact Us

 

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