Part of public media’s American Graduate initiative, series explores the lives of students and families at an innovative school in South Los Angeles
(Los Angeles, November 12, 2013) — Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) today announced an original documentary web series, STREET KNOWLEDGE 2 COLLEGE (SK2C), premiering on PBS.org Tuesday, November 12, 2013. SK2C is a fifteen episode web series, each between three and six minutes long, offering a powerful look at the lives of students and families at FREE L.A. High, an innovative school in South Los Angeles run by the community-based Youth Justice Coalition. The series is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help communities address the high school dropout crisis.
STREET KNOWLEDGE 2COLLEGE is directed and produced by filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor (New Muslim Cool, Special Circumstances, Paulina) in collaboration with members of the Los Angeles Youth Justice Coalition and students and organizers at FREE L.A. High School, who worked as crew members, artists, and creative partners in telling their own stories. SK2C is a production of Specific Pictures in association with Latino Public Broadcasting. In addition to CPB, major support is provided by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Claudia Gómez, who works as an organizer and mentor with Youth Justice Coalition and FREE L.A. High, served as the lead community co-producer and co- director.
FREE L.A. High works to get youth off the school-to-jail track by providing not only traditional academic education but by engaging students in community leadership, transforming their lives as well as others. Many FREE L.A. students have been in the correctional system and have been victims of crime and gang violence; as the films reveal, these young people must overcome enormous obstacles on their road to success and FREE L.A. and its dedicated faculty stand beside them every step of the way.
“We are pleased to bring the stories of these young people to a wide audience,” said Sandie Viquez Pedlow, executive director of Latino Public Broadcasting. “While some of their experiences are heartbreaking, the resilience of these students and the dedication of the faculty is truly inspiring.”
“CPB is committed to bringing diverse voices through innovative content to every platform, and increasing understanding and dialogue around the country’s biggest challenges,” said Joseph Tovares, SVP, Diversity and Innovation, CPB. “STREET KNOWLEDGE 2 COLLEGE provides compelling stories of struggles and triumphs on the path to a better life, created with students themselves, to inspire at-risk youth to make positive choices in their own lives and for their communities.”
Educate To Liberate
Tanisha Denard was jailed on truancy charges and pushed out of her public high school. She worked to finish her diploma at FREE L.A. and is now a school leader and mentor.
The Evolution Of Brandy Brown
Brandy Brown’s life changed when she returned to high school at FREE L.A. after dropping out. Now she’s jumping into civic life and community organizing, with her first-ever trip to the California State Assembly.
Each One, Teach One
Chrystal Dixon, a former high school dropout and single mom, introduces potential new students to FREE L.A. High School’s unique programs.
South Of The Ten
SK2C co-producer and co-director Claudia Gómez shares what South Los Angeles life is like through her own eyes.
With Her Own Eyes
Leslie, a former high school dropout, explores her world through art, photography, and activism.
A Conversation With Cris Carter
Cris Carter had been cycling in and out of school and correctional facilities for a couple of years before enrolling in FREE L.A. High School. Tragically, he was shot and killed about a month after talking to SK2C co-producer Claudia Gómez in this interview.
The Peace Builder
In a neighborhood where violence is a sad fact of everyday life, Jose Solis, a former high school dropout, helps keep the peace.
Henry is a former high school dropout who got his diploma and started working as a community organizer and peacekeeper. Claudia Gómez follows Henry from South Los Angeles to downtown for his last day of work as an intern in City Hall.
Come Talk To Ms. Brown
Elaine Brown is a parent who knows what is like to lose a child. When a FREE L.A. High student is shot and killed, Ms. Brown steps in to help.
Two Extra Seconds
Jennifer Rivera has been a dropout and homeless. Now she’s worked her way through Free L.A. High School to get her diploma. She’s reaching for a better life — by busting just a little extra effort.
Mr. Martin is a math teacher with high standards. He shares why he loves teaching and what he has learned by working with the students at FREE L.A. High School.
Fears and Hopes
FREE L.A. High School students share what scares them most, and what gives them the most hope.
The FREE L.A. High School community copes with an all- too-frequent occurrence —the violent death of a student.
Chrystal, a former high school dropout, discovers the power of her community and her own voice.
Making Films In Your Own Community
SK2C co-producer and co-director Claudia Gomez shares what she has learned about her community and herself through documentary filmmaking.
About the Filmmaker
Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s films include New Muslim Cool, which premiered on PBS’sP.O.V.; Paulina, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; Special Circumstances, part of LPB’s Voces series; and Homefront; which aired as part of the KQED series Bay Window. Taylor has held fellowships at the Sundance Institute, Banff Centre for the Arts, the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Specialized Journalism as an Annenberg Fellow. She is a recipient of the James D. Phelan Art Award for her body of work, and has won two Emmys as well as multiple festival awards. She is currently in post-production on a new full-length documentary film for Al Jazeera America. A former dancer who loves Brazilian pop, honkytonk, comic books, tacos, taco trucks, Mad magazine, urban hiking, cooking, modern design, and flat-ground bike riding, Jennifer also teaches in the Social Documentation Master’s program at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
About Latino Public Broadcasting
Latino Public Broadcasting is the leader in the development, production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural media that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. Latino Public Broadcasting provides a voice to the diverse Latino community throughout the United States and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. More information at www.lpbp.org.
About American Graduate
American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is helping local communities identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. American Graduate demonstrates public media’s commitment to education and its deep roots in every community it serves. Beyond providing programming that educates, informs and inspires, public radio and television stations — locally owned and operated — are an important resource in helping to address critical issues, such as the dropout rate. In addition to national programming, more than 75 public radio and television stations in over 30 states have launched on-the- ground efforts working with community and at risk youth to keep students on-track to high school graduation. More than 1000 partnerships have been formed locally throughAmerican Graduate, and CPB is working with Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and – operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.
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For further information and photos visit pbs.org/pressroom.