It can be tough for kids to talk to parents. So they're putting their stories onto film.
True
State Farm

As Will Smith once said: Parents just don't understand.

Sometimes, it’s just hard to tell your parents things, and most kids struggle with finding ways to express themselves as a result.

But just because kids talk less sometimes doesn’t mean they don’t have stories to tell.


If anything, kids and teens are in the story-filled prime of their lives. They don’t just grapple with friends and family, relationships, gossip, school, and work — kids are also privy to conflicts of race, gender, sex, class, and other issues. It’s a complicated world out there, and kids know it.

That’s why re:imagine/ATL is giving them the tools they need to tell those stories in a powerful, and sometimes more comfortable, way. By equipping kids with film skills, re:imagine/ATL is handing them the mic — and letting them tell their own stories and make themselves heard.

Hear from the kids themselves how learning to film stories is changing their lives:

This group is teaching kids the skills they need to tell the stories of their communities through film.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, September 11, 2017

When it comes to storytelling, everyone is on an equal playing field — which means that more diverse, more interesting perspectives have an opportunity to be heard.

As the program's founder Susanna Spiccia says, "Creativity — it doesn't discriminate."

For kids who are marginalized, that makes creativity a lifeline. Helping kids find a way to tell their stories doesn't just result in good stories, it also results in empowered kids.

At re:imagine/ATL, kids are pitching films focused on just about everything. Taj-Malik is telling "stories about [his] childhood," while Kalyn is addressing "how it's a little bit harder to do things when you're a girl."

Chris is pitching "a motivational piece," and Baldwin has ideas for "horror, drama, romance, comedy, action." For him and the rest of the kids at re:imagine/ATL, the sky is the limit.

There are lots of reasons it’s important to let kids tell their story their own way.

Society is biased when it comes to listening to grown-ups more than kids. Even stories about kids’ lives end up being told by adults. Remember the movie "Boyhood"? It was all about the experience of being a boy. And, yet, it was written and directed by a 42-year-old man.

Where are the stories about kids, told by kids?

When we hand kids the camera, there's no telling what they'll come up with. As volunteer Lisa Cunningham says, "We could be in camp with the next Spielberg."

The problem goes beyond just craving authentic storytelling. Too often, policy that applies to kids is debated and decided on by committees of adults. When kids are given a platform to voice the issues that affect them most, they’re able to be heard by the people who make the decisions that affect them.

But getting film experience is more than just a platform for telling stories. It’s also a huge leg up in a competitive industry.

In Atlanta, where the film and television industry is growing rapidly, kids who invest their interest in learning camera techniques early could see it pay off professionally down the road.

Normally, internships and entry-level jobs are slanted toward students with a hefty amount of privilege. But with re:imagine/ATL, kids from all sorts of backgrounds have the opportunity to get practical hands-on experience that could be the thing that becomes their foot in the door to a successful future.

That's something that doesn't need to be limited to Atlanta. As Spiccia says, "If you are in the film industry or you're in media period, you have a skillset that you can give back to our kids."

In any town, professionals have an opportunity to be a good neighbor to the younger generation, by passing on their experiences to kids who can then turn them into major opportunities.

And as the city of Atlanta proves, that’s a great thing for communities.

Empowering Atlanta's kids with film skills is an act that has powerful ripple effects. Not only does it set up a big portion of this generation for success, but it also allows them to go on to become mentors to other kids too.

Plus, you never know — the next huge thing in Hollywood could be something that was made right here in Atlanta.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

However, we seem to be on different pages as to what sucks most about it. Many of us are struggling with being separated from our friends and loved ones for so long. Some of us have lost friends and family to the virus, while others are dealing with ongoing health effects of their own illness. Millions are struggling with job loss and financial stress due to businesses being closed. Parents are drowning, dealing with their kids' online schooling and lack of in-person social interactions on top of their own work logistics. Most of us hate wearing masks (even if we do so diligently), and the vast majority of us are just tired of having to think about and deal with everything the pandemic entails.

Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less

A vintage post-card collector on Flickr who goes by the username Post Man has kindly allowed us to share his wonderful collection of vintage postcards and erotica from the turn of the century. This album is full of exquisite photographs from around the world of a variety of people dressed in beautiful clothing in exotic settings. In an era well before the internet, these photographs would be one of the only ways you could could see how people in other countries looked and dressed.

Take a look at PostMan's gallery of over 90 vintage postcards on Flickr.

Keep Reading Show less
via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

Keep Reading Show less