Lectures + Presentations

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Poetry Reading: John Yau & Wayne Koestenbaum
School of Visual Arts, New York, NY  | Mar 2018

SVA Library presents readings by prominent writers, poets and art critics John Yau and Wayne Koestenbaum. A selection of MFA Art Writing and MA Critical Theory and the Arts students, Sahar Khraibani, Mike Cavuto, and Irene Villaseñor, will open up the event by reading their own work.

John Yau has published books of poetry, fiction, and criticism. His latest poetry publication, Bijoux in the Dark, will be published April 1, 2018. Other books of poems include Further Adventures in Monochrome (Copper Canyon Press, 2012), and the chapbook, Egyptian Sonnets (Rain Taxi, 2012). His most recent monographs are Catherine Murphy (Rizzoli, 2016), the first book on the artist, and Richard Artschwager: Into the Desert (Black Dog Publishing, 2015). He has also written monographs on A. R. Penck, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol. In 1999, he started Black Square Editions, a small press devoted to poetry, fiction, translation, and criticism. He was the Arts Editor for the Brooklyn Rail (2007–2011) before he began writing regularly for Hyperallergic Weekend. He is a Professor of Critical Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University).

Wayne Koestenbaum has published eighteen books of poetry, criticism, and fiction, including Notes on Glaze, The Pink Trance Notebooks, My 1980s & Other Essays, Humiliation, Hotel Theory, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Andy Warhol, Jackie Under My Skin, and The Queen’s Throat (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist).  His new book of poems, Camp Marmalade, will be published in March 2018.  He has had solo exhibitions of his paintings at White Columns (New York), 356 Mission (L.A.), and the University of Kentucky Art Museum.  His first piano/vocal record, Lounge Act, was issued by Ugly Duckling Presse Records in 2017.  He is a Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and French at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.

Student Academic Conference Presentation:

A Call For Epistemological Diversity: A Comparison and Contrast of Indigenous Headdresses from the Karajá (Brazil) and Yup´ik (Alaska) Communities 

SUNY Empire State College, Albany, NY | Oct 2016

Essay (PDF) | Selected Slides (Powerpoint) - Section 1a, Section 1bSection 2, Section 3Section 4aSection 7, Section 8

​Workshop Description: Indigenous communities play key roles in environmentalism due to spending thousands of years developing knowledge of how to be stewards of the earth. Now the looming climate change refugee crisis and clashes over natural resources on their ancestral lands put them at the forefront of contemporary environmental struggles. Join an art history-inspired discussion to learn more and share resources

Presentation Abstract: According to the Infinities of Nations: Art and History Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian exhibit, headdresses identify which Indigenous leaders use their sagaciousness and supreme rhetorical skills to galvanize collective efforts and ensure mutually beneficial relationships with all beings that their communities are in contact with.


While the colorful and festive Karajá ijasò mask & rattles (1930–1960) from Bananal Island, Tocantins State, Brazil and the austerely elegant Yup´ik hunting hat (1870) from the Yukon River in Alaska may appear primitive and enigmatic to non-Indigenous audiences, they represent spiritual beliefs that are part of complex knowledge systems developed over thousands of years of living in the same environments.

Unfortunately, indigenous knowledge is a marginalized and often suppressed epistemology. Barrett and Wuetherick’s study, Intuition and Animism as Bridging Concepts to Indigenous Knowledges in Environmental Decision-making, explains Western intellectual practices as privileging critical analysis, empirical evidence, and rationality as legitimate sources of knowledge and knowing, while dismissing and denigrating animist engagement (insights gained from being in communication and relation with nonhuman beings), intuitions (“knowing without knowing how you know something”) and other transrational ways of knowing.

Through examining the Karajá ijasò mask & rattles and Yup´ik hunting hat, this presentation will delve into and discuss the histories of these communities, the role of art and performance in maintaining their beliefs, how the rituals associated with their headdresses continue to be practiced, and how indigenous knowledge is urgently needed in the face of present-day social and environmental crises.

Student Academic Conference Presentation:

Overcoming Barriers Against Women's Artistic Production

SUNY Empire State College, White Plains, NY | Oct 2010

​​​Workshop Description: Learn how feminist art education intersects with feminist pedagogy, aesthetics, and psychology to produce in women artists the confidence to execute their ideas and professional ambitions despite the internal and external challenges they often face. Insights into the creative process, the artistic personality, and the insidious nature of institutional discrimination will be shared. 

School Description: The State University of New York's (SUNY) Empire State College was established in 1971 by Ernest Boyer in a period of significant social and cultural change. Inspired by the works of John Dewey, Paulo Friere, Ivan Illich, and others, the college was fiercely radical and anti-establishment, and was determined to break all the shackles of tradition in order to better serve those traditionally underrepresented in higher education. This included forgoing classes in favor of independent and group studies; rejecting traditional disciplinary departments; eschewing grades for narrative evaluations; and, with faculty mentors working with learners individually, devising unique and personalized degree programs that incorporated learning acquired beyond the academy. Unlike prescribed curricula and course outlines, co-developed learning contracts presumed that learners had unique goals and interests and were active partners in the design of their own learning. The college was thus "open" in every sense of the word and in ways that went beyond simply having open admissions or flexible delivery modes, as was the case originally at the UK's Open University, which also opened in 1971. While the college has diversified its approaches since then, adding considerable online capacity and programs that are somewhat more standard, the individualized mentor-learner model still informs its core values and operations.

Visiting Lecturer, Managing Creativity in Media Arts

The New School for Public Engagement, New York, NY | Sep 2015

Discussed with graduate class how to apply business administration and management theories to media industries: levels of management, types of managers, functions of management, decision-making styles, and the relationships between media industries, markets, technologies, and policies.

Class Description: This class explores the worlds of the artist and the arts manager from the perspectives of working artists in the media field, for-profit media managers, and arts administrators. Targeting individuals interested in many areas of the media arts-including writing, production, visual arts and media management-this course examines the numerous aspects of the media arts with regard to both generating creativity and managing creative individuals and organizations.


Through lecture, case studies, as well as group and individual projects, students will investigate the creative and practical aspects of the media arts community, including being an artist, running a business, or managing an arts organization. We explore financial options for generating revenue as an artist, media manager, or corporation; and develop competencies in research, business writing, and making presentations, as well as the creation of strategic plans, budgets, and financial statements. The course gives students an understanding of the way the worlds of various media disciplines interact. It familiarizes them with the structures and operations of for-profit and non-profit media organizations and the roles and responsibilities of those running them. Students are given an opportunity to build relationships across a variety of management as well as media disciplines; understand options for future careers in the media arts and media management; and develop a set of valuable skills for use in academic as well as professional careers.

Screening and Discussion: The Whale Rider

Social Justice Bootcamp, Project Reach Fleishmans, NY | Aug 2010

Film Description: Paikea Apirana is a 12-year-old girl who is the only living child in the line of her tribe's chiefly succession. However, tradition dictates that leadership can only be conferred to the first-born son who is a direct patrilineal descendant of Paikea, who rode on top of a whale from Hawaiki. 


Project Reach’s Social Justice Bootcamp (SJBC) is an opportunity for young people to come together and learn the skills and concepts necessary for "organizing readiness,” which is the belief that people must go through certain processes before they can effectively organize for change. The SJBC challenges the notion that force and abusive power are acceptable ways to live, change, or improve our communities or the larger world by applying an anti-militaristic, interdisciplinary approach to “organizing readiness.” This approach includes supporting youth in solidifying their identities, sense of history and place in history, and their critical understanding of the world.


This multi-racial, multi-gender, cross-community, city-wide and national gathering of Project Reach’s partner organizations is a one week intensive training that takes place on their Farm in upstate New York. By demonstrating that “having everyone at the table” is achievable, it significantly changes the ways in which young people and adults relate to one another, build community, and move forward to proactively interrupt discrimination and injustice within their communities. These training retreats provide countless opportunities to bring young people together from around New York City and beyond who would otherwise never meet.

Screening and Discussion: Food Inc.

Project Reach, New York, NY | Jul 2010

Film Description: This 2010 Oscar-nominated film lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer.

Project Reach is an intergenerational and multiracial youth organizing center in Chinatown that has served young people and families since 1971. It's part of the Chinese American Planning Council network of social service agencies. 

Over 40 years ago, Asian American community activists started Project Reach to provide services to immigrant youth, a direct response to the rise in Chinese American youth gangs. Over 25 years ago, in an action unprecedented among race-segregated youth programs, Project Reach opened its door to all young people and put in place an innovative and dynamic youth organizing training space where understanding and confronting discrimination and systemic oppression would form the foundation of its core youth organizing training curriculum.

Project Reach creates opportunities for youth - and adults who work with them - to incubate new approaches and strategies and to build institutions that address discrimination and injustice and place social control in their own hands. Organizing readiness, youth organizing, and community empowerment are the products of these opportunities.

Screening and Discussion: The Ballad of Esequiel Herandez                                              

Project Reach, New York, NY | Jul 2008

Film Description: In 1997, U.S. Marines patrolling the Texas-Mexico border as part of the War on Drugs shot and killed Esequiel Hernández Jr.

Workshop: How to Organize Screening and Discussion Events  

Social Justice Bootcamp, Fleishmans, NY | Aug 2007

Presentation: An Introduction to the Youth Views Project

Chinese American Planning Council, New York, NY | Jul 2005

Presentation to over 40 managers and program directors at the first and largest social service agency serving Chinese Americans in the United States.

The Chinese-American Planning Council's mission is to serve the Chinese-American, immigrant and low-income communities in New York City by providing culturally sensitive services, skills and resources towards economic self-sufficiency. It began as a grassroots, community-based organization founded in response to the end of the Chinese Exclusion Act years that coincided with the War on Poverty and the vast influx of Chinese immigrants after the Immigration Reform Act of 1965.

Screening and Discussion: Every Mother’s Son and Chisholm ’72 Unbought & Unbossed      Social Justice Bootcamp, Project Reach, Fleishmans, NY | Jul 2004

Film Description: In the late 1990s, three victims of police brutality made headlines around the country: Amadou Diallo, the young West African man whose killing sparked intense public protest; Anthony Baez, killed in an illegal choke-hold; and Gary (Gidone) Busch, a Hasidic Jew shot and killed outside his Brooklyn home. Every Mother's Son tells of the victims' three mothers who came together to demand justice and accountability.

Film Description: In 1972, Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman to run for president. Her wit, spirit and charisma reminds all Americans of their power as citizens.

Introduction of the Keynote Speaker:

Cynthia Lopez, Vice President of American Documentary | P.O.V.

Women, Action, and the Media Conference

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA | Mar 2009

Cynthia Lopez has been with P.O.V. since 2000, serving first as Communications Director before being appointed to Vice President for American Documentary where she is responsible for development of programming content, broadcast distribution, communications and marketing, and strategic development of the organization.

The WAM Conference brings together leading thinkers, journalists, and activists with a stake in achieving gender justice in media. The 2009 conference convened 600 attendees from 29 states and 9 countries who work in television, film, radio, print and new media, universities, arts and entertainment, and social justice organizations. Connections made here grow into ongoing relationships and collaborations, which WAM fosters and supports through their other strategies. According to one attendee, “WAM not only gives young women a chance to work and strategize with each other and seasoned media professionals—the conference also provides a much-needed support network for women in the media.”

How to Get Your P.O.V. Heard: A Conversation with the Producers and Partners of the P.O.V. (Point of View) Series on PBS


Women, Action, and the Media Conference

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA | Mar 2009

Hear from P.O.V. producers and community partners on how they have used independent social issue documentaries to promote critical thinking, dialogue, and action in their communities.


  • Elvira Colorado (Chichimec Otomi), acclaimed co-founder of Coatlicue Theater and member of the American Indian Community House

  • Youth Views Advisory Board Member Natalie Jesoinka of Amnesty International USA, who’s now an international correspondent for South African and Korean television and a lecturer on Human Rights and International Media at Rutgers University

  • Cynthia Lopez, Vice President of American Documentary | P.O.V.


  • Irene Villaseñor, Director of the Youth Views Project at American Documentary | P.O.V.

Screening and Discussion: Kelly Loves Tony

Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NY | Oct 2008 and Jan 2005


Film Description: She's a straight-A student; he's trying to leave gang life behind. A camcorder becomes both witness and confidante for these markedly singular yet utterly typical teens as they self-document the trials of growing up too fast and too soon in urban America.

The Jacob Burns Film Center is one of the most successful suburban art house cinemas in the country. But they are also a dynamic nonprofit educational and cultural organization with a mission to make film a vibrant part of the Westchester community by presenting the best of independent, documentary, and world cinema; promoting 21st century literacy through their Media Arts Lab; offering education programs for thousands of students annually (over half of which come from underserved communities); and providing fellowships and residencies for international filmmakers, curators, and media educators.

According to independent film programmer Lois Dino, who invited me to work with JBFC’s students, “Irene is the ultimate professional. The young women who attended the outreach film program with her were inspired and interested, thanks to Irene's ability to convey information about the film shown, and about how young citizens can make a difference by telling their stories on film.”

Panel: College and Career Fair

The After-School Corporation for the New York Times Summer Jobs Program

New York, NY | Aug 2008


The New York Times Company Foundation, through their Neediest Cases Fund, supports a summer jobs program for low-income youth by partnering with social service agencies who receive funding to hire young people to work in day camps, summer schools and programs for at-risk children. This program is administered by the After-School Corporation, which serves thousands of children in the city by creating donor-program partnerships.


I joined professionals from various industries to share career advice, answer questions about our educations, and network with the participants from this program.

Screening and Discussion: Critical Condition                                                                   

Futures and Options, Alliance for Downtown New York, New York, NY |  Aug 2008

Film Description: What happens if you get sick and are one of 47 million Americans without health insurance?


Futures and Options provides underserved New York City teens with internships, mentoring and job training at a formative time of their lives, guiding them to further their education and become contributing citizens. At the same time, private and nonprofit businesses are connected to a pipeline of promising, motivated and diverse young people. Founded in as a pilot project of the Alliance for Downtown New York, it became its own nonprofit and has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor as a model youth workforce development program.

Presentation: An Introduction to the Youth Views Project

Social Justice Fair: Teacher’s Networking Event for Education for Liberation Network

Brotherhood/Sister Sol, New York, NY | Aug 2008

The Brotherhood/Sister Sol provides comprehensive, holistic and long-term support services to youth through rites of passage programming, after school care, school and home counseling, summer camps, job training and employment, college preparation, community organizing training, and international study programs to Africa and Latin America. They also publish assorted curricula and collections of members’ writings; train educators on their approach; and present their findings at educational and policy conferences. Their theory of change is to provide multi-layered support, guidance, education and love to their membership, to teach them to have self-discipline and form order in their lives, and then to offer opportunities and access so that they may develop agency.

Movie Math: Using Social Justice Media in the Classroom

Creating Balance in an Unjust World, Conference on Math Education and Social Justice

Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY | Apr 2008


Workshop Description: Media can be used in your classrooms to prompt students to think about real life equity issues. The documentary, Waging a Living, which chronicles citizens’ struggles to make a living wage, will serve as a case study. We’ll watch clips from the film, discuss the economic justice issues presented, and review the companion lesson plan, which makes suggestions on how to incorporate mathematical concepts into students’ daily lives.

This conference is for educators interested in integrating issues of social and economic justice into their math classes and curriculum and for parents, students, activists, and community members who want to explore how to achieve social justice through math education.

P.O.V.: The Real World in School

Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference

PBS Channel 13/WNET, New York, NY | Mar 2008


The Celebration is sponsored by the public television stations of the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area and is the nation's premier professional development conference for K-12 educators, administrators, and policy makers. Worldwide trends in instruction, education policy, and education research are presented through renowned speakers, hands-on workshops and vendors. It embodies the spirit and mission of public television - to deliver intelligent cultural, informational, and educational content that inspires the audience.

Public Media For The Public Good: Challenges and Opportunities

New York City Grassroots Media Conference

CUNY Hunter College,  New York, NY | Feb 2008


Curation as a Lens of Activism

New York City Grassroots Media Conference

CUNY Hunter College,  New York, NY | Feb 2008   


Educators Strategy Session: Connections between Media Justice and Visual Literacy

New York City Grassroots Media Conference

CUNY Hunter College,  New York, NY | Feb 2008   


How to use Film to Spark Dialogue and Organize for Social Change

Popular Education Conference

Samuel J. Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, New York, NY | Jan 2006   

School Description: The School of Social Work at Hunter College was established in 1958 and is the oldest and largest public school of social work in New York. Their mandate is informed by the School’s location within the City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s largest urban public institution of higher education and as a graduate department of Hunter College, the largest and most pre-eminent of CUNY’s five senior colleges. Their mission is to promote civic engagement and dedication to public services in the City of New York. Their student body, field agencies, and alumni are the primary social work workforce of the public human service departments and not-for-profit agencies in New York City.

How to Organize Community Screening and Discussion Events

Native American Film + Video Festival

Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

The George Gustav Heye Center, New York, NY | Nov 2007 & 2003


Presented a workshop to young filmmakers attending the film festival in English that was simultaneously translated into French and Spanish. 

This festival presents productions by and about Native communities throughout North, Central, and South America, and the Pacific. Featuring selections by teams of Native American filmmakers and cultural activists and the staff of the NMAI Film & Video Center, the Festival has brought to New York filmmakers from more than 250 tribal nations and communities to introduce and discuss their works.

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is an active and visible component of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex. The NMAI cares for one of the world's most expansive collections of Native artifacts, including objects, photographs, archives, and media covering the entire Western Hemisphere, from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. It operates three facilities. The museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., offers exhibition galleries and spaces for performances, lectures and symposia, research, and education. The George Gustav Heye Center in New York City houses exhibitions, research, educational activities, and performing arts programs. The Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland, houses the museum's collections as well as the conservation, repatriation, and digital imaging programs, and research facilities. The NMAI's off-site outreach efforts, often referred to as the "fourth museum," include websites, traveling exhibitions, and community programs.

Since the passage of its enabling legislation in 1989 (amended in 1996), the NMAI has been steadfastly committed to bringing Native voices to what the museum writes and presents, whether on-site at one of the three NMAI venues, through the museum's publications, or via the Internet. The NMAI is also dedicated to acting as a resource for the hemisphere's Native communities and to serving the greater public as an honest and thoughtful conduit to Native cultures—present and past—in all their richness, depth, and diversity.

Screening and Discussion: Arctic Son

Youth Screening Series, Tribeca Film Institute, New York, NY | Oct 2007

Film Description: A clash of tradition and modernity puts a Native father and son (Gwich'in) at odds in the remote village of Old Crow, 80 miles above the Arctic Circle.

Tribeca Film Institute champions storytellers to be catalysts for change in their communities and around the world by funding diverse groups of exceptional filmmakers and media artists to fully realize their stories and connect with audiences and by providing education programs that empower students through hands-on training and exposure to socially relevant films, offering young people the media skills necessary to be creative and productive global citizens.

Moderator: Global. National. Local: Community Minded Filmmaking  and the How and Why You Should, Tribeca Film Festival, New York, NY | May 2005

The Festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema, and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. It has screened over 1400 films from over 80 countries since 2002 and has generated an estimated $750 million in economic activity for New York City.

How To Use Film To Spark Dialogue And Organize For Social Change

Annual Conference, Bioneers, San Rafael, CA | Oct 2007

Bioneers highlights breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet through their annual national and local conferences which act as a hub for social and scientific innovators with practical and visionary solutions for the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. Their year-long programs focus on women’s leadership, indigenous wisdom, community resilience networks, and leadership development and youth.


The Reel Change Agents Fellowship Program gathered young aspiring social justice filmmakers attending the Bioneers’ annual conference for a five day leadership development institute that consisted of seminars, trainings, screenings, and discussions.

Film Outreach and Distribution

Youth Channel, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, New York, NY | Oct 2007

The mission of the Youth Media Center at Manhattan Neighborhood Network is to develop the next generation of media makers and critical thinkers by providing training in the technical, creative and social aspects of media making and encouraging the critical analysis of local, national and international social justice issues; community activism; and personal and professional development.


All media produced at the Youth Media Center is hosted and distributed on The Youth Channel, a cable and multimedia platform that focuses on highlighting media created by the youth and for the youth. The Youth Channel is available online and it is broadcast Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on MNN Channel 4.

Film Outreach & Distribution  

Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, Brooklyn, NY | Jun 2007

Reel Works is the only filmmaking program that matches teens 1:1 with professional filmmaker-mentors to tell their stories and have their voices heard. It’s a powerful combination that changes young lives while creating startling and original films. Students’ films have been broadcast on HBO Family, PBS, Oprah, MSNBC and, through a partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, WNYC-Life for a weekly series, Reel Works with Avan Jogia.

Alumna Artist Lecture

Queer History Class, City-As-School High School, New York, NY | May 2007

City-As-School is the nation’s leading external learning model for high school students, in which students are placed in a wide variety of internships where they learn by doing. CAS’s primary objective is to offer students a multitude of learning experiences that encompass the depth and breadth of New York City’s businesses or resources. The program has been continuously evolving, putting students in the field–primarily students at risk of dropping out–and revitalizing their interest in their own lives, in their education and in the society around them.

Alumna Artist Lecture

Educational Video Center, New York, NY | Apr 2007


Spoke to EVC’s High School Documentary Workshop and Youth Organizer’s Television about the films I made and EVC and my career since graduating from its programs.

Educational Video Center (EVC) is dedicated to teaching documentary video as a means to develop the artistic, critical literacy, and career skills of young people, while nurturing their idealism and commitment to social change. It began in 1984 with a simple idea: put video cameras in the hands of kids from low-income communities and teach them to go out into the city, ask hard questions and tell stories about the world as they see it – with all its problems and possibilities. Over the years, EVC students have created award-winning documentaries on a range of issues. They are honest and gritty portraits of life at home, in school and in the streets of their neighborhoods that ring true for young audiences. Now EVC's pioneering work is nationally and internationally recognized as a successful model for media arts education. Their professional development programs reach thousands of students each year through intensive teacher training courses, in-class coaching, and curricula. EVC’s publications and educational methodology are also read and taught in teachers colleges, high schools, and community centers across the United States and abroad.

Alumna Artist Lecture

High School Outreach Pre-College Art Program

Cooper Union School of Art, New York, NY | Apr 2007

Spoke to the High School Outreach Pre-College Art Program about the films I made, my filmmaking education, and my career. Gave students a tour of my workplace, American Documentary | P.O.V., and answered questions about P.O.V.’s annual call for film and video entries and its national broadcast series.  


This program serves the needs of talented local high school students who would benefit most from a fully funded college level education by helping them develop a portfolio worthy of art college admissions and scholarships. Enrollment is limited to ensure optimum time with instructors and critique of student work. Classes in drawing, animation, printmaking, photography, creative writing, 3D design and 2D design are offered along with a weekly seminar on contemporary art issues, which encourages students to discuss, think critically, and write about current issues. This seminar often includes guest speakers and trips to museums, galleries, and artist studios throughout New York City. Instructional materials, field trip transportation, and museum admissions are provided at no cost. Each season concludes in a celebration of student artwork with an exhibition at the Cooper Union, as well as a literary reading.

Screening and Discussion: Maquilapolis: City of Factories

From the Grassroots Representing Ourselves Conference

Manhattan Neighborhood Network, New York, NY | Nov 2007

Film Description: Carmen and Lourdes work at maquiladoras (multinational assembly plants that sprang up south of the U.S.-Mexican border starting in the mid-1960s) just over the border in Tijuana, Mexico, where each day they confront labor violations, environmental devastation and urban chaos.

Represented American Documentary | P.O.V. on the planning committee for a training conference and film festival presented by the Union Square Awards, North Star Fund, New York Foundation, New York Women's Foundation and Manhattan Neighborhood Network's Community Media Program. Curated a one-hour program of community media recently produced in New York City. The event was attended by 100 community media producers.

How to use Film to Spark Dialogue and Organize for Social Change

Ashoka’s Youth Venture, Brooklyn, NY | Mar 2007

Youth Venture is a community of young changemakers that operates in 23 countries and online. It inspires and supports teams of young people to launch and lead their own “Ventures” - community-benefiting initiatives, clubs, organizations and businesses. YV provides teams access to workshops, adult allies (non-controlling adult team advisors), a global network of like-minded young changemakers, and fundraising tools.

Screening and Discussion: Palante Siempre Palante! The Young Lords

Youth Services, ICD: International Center for the Disabled, New York, NY | Aug 2005


Film Description: They were leaders of the Young Lords Party, the militant Puerto Rican civil rights organization based in New York. Today, many are notable mainstream journalists, including Juan Gonzalez, Felipe Luciano and Pablo Guzman. Iris Morales makes history come alive as veterans of the movement recall their fight for equality, jobs, health care, and education.

ICD is a recognized leader in providing integrated rehabilitative care to people of all ages with disabilities and other rehabilitative and developmental needs. Expert medical, speech and language, mental health and vocational services are all available at one site. Founded in 1917 as the first outpatient rehabilitation center in the country, ICD has pioneered new programs and services to help thousands of individuals achieve better health, greater independence, and more productive work, school, and family life.

Filipinas in Film & Television

Bi-annual Conference, Filipina American Women’s Network, New York, NY | Jun 2005

The Filipina American Women’s Network (FAWN) Conferences have been a bi-annual gathering for socially concerned and active Filipino women across various disciplines, careers and lifestyle in constructive dialogue. Since the 1980s various women's organizations and groups have taken turns hosting a FAWN Conference. NewFilipina, Inc. took up the challenge in 2005 and its fiscal sponsor was the Philippine Forum.

The FAWN 2005 Conference's mission was to bring together dynamic Filipino American women in order to inspire, motivate, and further each others’ personal success and all our efforts of community service for the advancement of humanity. Its theme was “Coming Into Our Own: Spirit, Leadership and Success.”

Panel Description: Filipinas In Film & TV! Come see what they are doing in the entertainment industry and beyond! This group of highly-accomplished panelists will explore topics pertaining to careers in film and television, both on a professional and an artistic level. Our mission is to introduce the community to various aspects of this industry, as well as to highlight the many accomplishments and contributions of noteworthy Filipino-American women, both to the industry and the art form.

Moderator: Christina S. DeHaven, NYU Department of Film &Television, Producer of "My Uncle Berns" (HBO)


  • Lenn Almadin, TFC/ABS-CBN - Producer, Correspondent

  • Anne del Castillo, P.O.V. (PBS) - Manager of Research & Development, Associate Producer of "Imelda"

  • Sari Dalena, Filmmaker/Fulbright Scholar (NYU, Graduate Film Program), "Memories of a Forgotten War"

  • Ramona Diaz, Filmmaker/Director, "Imelda"

  • Azon Juan, MTV Networks - Segment Producer, Associate Producer, "Tupac Resurrection"

  • Irene Villaseñor, P.O.V. (PBS) - 'Youth Views', Manager

Guest Lecturer, Documentary as an Art Form and Tool for Social Change

Human Rights House, Douglass Residential College

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ | May 2005


The New Jersey College for Women was renamed the Douglass Residential College in 1955 and  merged with the other undergraduate liberal arts colleges at Rutgers–New Brunswick in 2007. Douglass offers women undergraduates a learning environment and specialized programs that enhance the academic core provided by Rutgers' schools.

The Other Half of the Story, How to Build a Campaign to Make Distribution Effective Ahead of the Curve: A Conference for Youth Media Practitioners

Listen Up! Youth Media Network, New York, NY | May 2005


Listen Up! was a youth media network that connected young video producers and their allies to resources, support, and projects in order to develop the field and achieve an authentic youth voice in the mass media.

Screening and Discussion: Kelly Loves Tony

LEARN IT! LIVE IT! A training and action day for youth volunteers

American Red Cross of Greater New York, New York, NY | Apr 2005                              

Film Description: She's a straight-A student; he's trying to leave gang life behind. A camcorder becomes both witness and confidante for these markedly singular yet utterly typical teens as they self-document the trials of growing up too fast and too soon in urban America.

The American Red Cross (ARC) prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.​ The ARC of Greater New York serves over 13 million people in New York City; Long Island; Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester counties; and Greenwich, Conn. They respond to approximately seven emergencies and disasters a day across the region—home fires, floods, building collapses—and more, providing shelter, food, clothing and emotional support at no cost to those in need.

Panel: Youth Changing Culture

International Federation of Social Workers Conference

Commission on the Status of Women, United Nations, New York, NY | Mar 2005

Presented how communities in the United States and U.S.-Mexico Border organized screenings of Señorita Extraviada to discuss violence against women. This case study is discussed in Out of the Screening Room and into the Streets for the Youth Media Reporter. 

Film Description: Someone is killing the young women of Juárez, Mexico. Since 1993, over 270 women have been raped and murdered. Señorita Extraviada is a haunting investigation into an unspeakable crime wave amid the chaos and corruption of one of the world's biggest border towns.

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization currently made up of 193 Member States. Its mission and work are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter, which empowers it to take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more. It  also provides a forum for its members to express their views in the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and other bodies and committees. By enabling dialogue between its members, and by hosting negotiations, the UN has become a mechanism for governments to find areas of agreement and solve problems together.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. It is a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council. The CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.


During the CSW’s annual two-week session, representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities gather at UN headquarters in New York. They discuss progress and gaps in the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the key global policy document on gender equality, and the 23rd special session of the General Assembly held in 2000 (Beijing+5), as well as emerging issues that affect gender equality and the empowerment of women. Member States agree on further actions to accelerate progress and promote women’s enjoyment of their rights in political, economic and social fields.

Screening and Discussion: Freedom Machines                                              

Office of Student Affairs, New York University, New York, NY | Mar 2005


Film Description: Freedom Machines takes a new look at disability through the lens of assistive technology. It is not a profile of “unusual” people who have “overcome their disabilities” or succeeded “despite” their physical conditions. Rather, in showing what is possible, the film asks viewers to question accepted ideas of what “disability” means. And access to assistive technologies is properly set in the context of civil rights and public policy rather than limited to the realm of charity or good will.

The mission of the NYU Division of Student Affairs is twofold: To complement and support the University's academic mission as an international center of scholarship, teaching, and research; and to enhance the quality of life for students — both in and out of the classroom.


Screening and Discussion: Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story 

Asian American Women’s Alliance, New York University, New York, NY | Mar 2005

Film Description: Of Civil Wrongs and Rights is the untold history of the 40-year legal fight to vindicate Fred Korematsu — who resisted the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II — one that finally turned a civil injustice into a civil rights victory. The film includes footage from 1998 when Korematsu was awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom award, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

The Asian American Women’s Alliance (AAWA) addresses, confronts, and raises awareness for issues of importance to Asian American women in the NYU community, acknowledging that such issues are not necessarily fully dealt with at either the Women's Center or various Asian ethnic clubs. Through providing resources and networking with off-campus organizations, AAWA also celebrates the diversity of New York City's urban environment while supporting its student community.

Screening and Discussion: Chishlom ’72-Unbought and Unbossed

Office of Student Affairs, New York University, New York, NY | Feb 2005

How Screening The Education of Shelby Knox Can Spark Dialogue and Action Around Adolescent Sexual Health Education

Northeastern Roundtable on Social Justice in Higher Education: A Coalition-building Day for Regional Student Affairs Professionals 

New York University, New York, NY | Jan 2005

Film Description: A self-described “good Southern Baptist girl,” 15-year-old Texan Shelby Knox becomes an unlikely advocate for comprehensive sex education.

This event was a forum for university administrators and faculty to share their perspectives and practices on bringing social justice education to the forefront of university life and academia. 

Screening and Discussion: Every Mother’s Son

Office of Student Affairs, New York University, New York, NY | Dec 2004  

Film Description: In the late 1990s, three victims of police brutality made headlines around the country: Amadou Diallo, the young West African man whose killing sparked intense public protest; Anthony Baez, killed in an illegal choke-hold; and Gary (Gidone) Busch, a Hasidic Jew shot and killed outside his Brooklyn home. Every Mother's Son tells of the victims' three mothers who came together to demand justice and accountability.

Panel Moderator: Profiles of Youth Organizing on the East Coast

Queer Asian Pacific American Legacy Conference

New York University, New York, NY | Mar 2004


This was a regional conference that served nearly 400 LGBT pan-Asian Pacific American activists. Partners included the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association, Asian and Pacific Lesbian and Bisexual Women and Transgender Network, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, NYU Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program and Institute, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Amnesty International OUTfront Program, Asian and Pacific Islander Queers United for Action, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Visiting Lecturer, Youth Media for Social Change

New York University | Tisch School of the Arts, New York, NY | Sep 1998 & 2000

Screening and Discussion: Scout’s Honor

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Services Center

New York, NY | Mar 2005

Film Description: "To be physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight" - this is the Boy Scout pledge. Since 1910, millions of boys have joined. But today, if you are openly gay, you can't. A 12-year-old Boy Scout named Steven Cozza launches a campaign to overturn the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy.

The Center’s Youth Enrichment Services programs build self-esteem and help ready young people (ages of 13-21) for various life stages. This includes programs that foster connection, leadership, and support. The first-of-its kind substance use treatment program to help LGBTQ young people is also available.

Panel: Gender 201: Building a Post-Queer World 
New York City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Services Center

New York, NY | Sep 1997

The Gender Identity Project met regularly at the Center to offer individual peer counseling, referrals, community events, and identity-based support groups: people on the masculine spectrum and feminine spectrum, partners, family, friends; and transgender non-conforming parents. Since then, the Center has expanded their services to the Transgender community to also include economic opportunity assistance and educational resources.

Screening and Discussion: A Panther in Africa

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY | Feb 2005


Film Description: On October 30, 1969, Pete O'Neal, a young Black Panther in Kansas City, Missouri, was arrested for transporting a gun across state lines. One year later, O'Neal fled the charge, and for over 30 years, he has lived in Tanzania as one of the last American exiles from an era when activists considered themselves at war with the U.S. government.

School Description: Teachers College (TC) at Columbia University is the first and largest graduate school of education in the United States. TC is committed to ensuring that schools are reformed and restructured to welcome all students regardless of their socio-economic circumstances. They are also committed to preparing educators who not only serve students directly but also coordinate the educational, psychological, behavioral, technological, and health initiatives to remove barriers to learning at all ages.  

Visiting Lecturer, Youth Media for Social Change

The Photography Institute at Columbia University, New York, NY | Jun 2004

Screening and Discussion: Of Civil Wrongs & Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story

Art Career Day, Youth Insights Program

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY | Oct 2004

Film Description: Of Civil Wrongs and Rights is the untold history of the 40-year legal fight to vindicate Fred Korematsu — who resisted the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II — one that finally turned a civil injustice into a civil rights victory. The film includes footage from 1998 when Korematsu was awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom award, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Key Note Address for Youth Insights Reunion

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY | Jan 2003


The Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art, and its collection—arguably the finest holding of twentieth-century American art in the world—is the Museum's key resource. The Museum's signature exhibition, the Biennial, is the country's leading survey of the most recent developments in American art.


Since 1997, the Whitney’s Youth Insights teen program has welcomed diverse NYC high school students to the Museum for intensive creative experiences working behind the scenes, collaborating with artists, developing programs and projects, leading gallery tours, and more.

Screening and Discussion: Kelly Loves Tony

Chinatown Youth Initiatives, New York, NY | Dec 2004


Film Description: She's a straight-A student; he's trying to leave gang life behind. A camcorder becomes both witness and confidante for these markedly singular yet utterly typical teens as they self-document the trials of growing up too fast and too soon in urban America.

Chinatown Youth Initiatives empowers New York City youth with the knowledge and skills necessary to address the needs of Chinatown, Asian Americans, and other underrepresented communities. By providing a safe and supportive environment, CYI works to build a legacy of leaders who strengthen awareness of self-identity and community issues through project initiatives.

Youth>Media>Action: Using Independent Media to Engage Youth

Annual Conference, Partnership for Afterschool Education 

Hostos Community College, Bronx, NY | Oct 2004

The Partnership for Afterschool Education is a child-focused organization that promotes and supports quality afterschool programs, particularly those serving young people from underserved communities.

Presentation: An Introduction to P.O.V.'s Youth Views Project                                                    

United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY | Oct 2004


The United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE) is Brooklyn's oldest Latino community-based organization. It is an intergenerational, multi-racial, nationally-recognized community organization that promotes sustainability and resiliency through community organizing, education, leadership development and cultural/artistic expression in Brooklyn, NY. Their Sunset Park Climate Justice and Community Resiliency Center is NYC’s first grassroots-led, bottom-up, climate adaptation and community resiliency planning project.

How to Curate a Film Series

H2Ed: A Hip-Hop Educational Program, New York, NY | Sep 2004

Provided a workshop on the curatorial decision-making process for members of the Youth Programming Committee of the annual H2O Hip Hop Odyssey International Film Festival.

H2Ed is an initiative that advocates for and supports educators using Hip-Hop culture to reach youth by combining a creative mix of standard educational formats with Hip-Hop pedagogy.

Screening and Discussion: Chisholm ’72 Unbought & Unbossed and Every Mother’s Son  

National Hip Hop Political Convention, Newark, New Jersey | Jun 2004   


Film Description: In 1972, Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman to run for president. Her wit, spirit and charisma reminds all Americans of their power as citizens.

Film Description: In the late 1990s, three victims of police brutality made headlines around the country: Amadou Diallo, the young West African man whose killing sparked intense public protest; Anthony Baez, killed in an illegal choke-hold; and Gary (Gidone) Busch, a Hasidic Jew shot and killed outside his Brooklyn home. Every Mother's Son tells of the victims' three mothers who came together to demand justice and accountability.

The first-ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention drew an estimated 4,000 people and was attended by activists, elected officials, political pundits, and hip-hop artists from all over the country. It included concerts, film screenings, workshops, panels, and a platform to vote on that organizers hope will be incorporated into the platforms of political parties across the spectrum. Topics discussed included new challenges in electoral politics, rethinking grassroots activism, art and responsibility, and mobilizing the religious community.

Expanding the Borders of Youth Media Programs: How can young Latinos use media to support and empower communities?

Annual Conference, National Association of Latino Independent Producers 

Santa Barbara, CA | Feb 2004


The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) is a membership organization that addresses the professional needs of Latinx content creators. Its mission is to promote, advance and advocate for Latino content creators across media. NALIP has had success holding thirteen National Conferences, plus six other National Initiatives: a Latino Writer's Lab, a Latino Producers Academy and a published/on-line Latino Media Resource Guide, documentary development workshops plus the Latino Media Market held during their National Conference and the Latino Artist Mentoring Program.

Screening and Discussion: Georgie Girl  

Creating Change Conference, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Miami, FL | Nov 2003


Film Description: What are the chances that a former prostitute could be elected a Member of the Parliament of New Zealand by a conservative, rural district? What if that person was also transgender? The odds may seem daunting, but Georgina Beyer (Maori) did it.

Flag Wars Screening and Discussion on the Intersection of LGBT Community Building

and Gentrification

Creating Change Conference, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Miami, FL | Nov 2003


Film Description: Flag Wars is a poignant account of the politics and pain of gentrification. Working-class black residents in Columbus, Ohio fight to hold on to their homes. Realtors and gay home-buyers see fixer-uppers. The clashes expose prejudice and self-interest on both sides, as well as the common dream to have a home to call your own.


The National LGBTQ Task Force sponsors and organizes the Creating Change Conference, the pre-eminent political, leadership and skills-building conference for the LGBTQ social justice movement. Its primary goal is to build political power from the ground up to secure full freedom, justice, and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people in the United States.


Attendees represent all sectors and demographic groups: young and old activists; organizers and activists of color; paid and volunteer staff people at LGBTQ political and community organizations; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer advocates and straight allies; HIV/AIDS activists; elected officials; safer school advocates; anti-violence activists; faith community organizers; artists and cultural workers; and leaders of campus communities and local community centers.

Teaching Media Literacy: From the Cradle to the Grave

Annual Conference, National Alliance for Media and Culture, Seattle, WA | Nov 2002

The National Alliance for Media and Culture (NAMAC) facilitates collaboration, strategic growth, innovation and cultural impact for the media arts field. Since its founding, NAMAC has worked to raise the profile and influence of the media arts on behalf of its growing and changing membership.


Youth Speak Out! About Making Media

Sundance Institute, Park City, UT | Jan 2002


The Road to Exhibition for Young Filmmakers

Sundance Institute, Park City, UT | Jan 2002

Sundance Institute is dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences. Through its programs, the Institute seeks to discover, support, and inspire independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. Today 170 employees works from offices in Park City, Los Angeles, and New York City to provide 24 residential labs, grants exceeding $2.5 million, and ongoing mentorships that support more than 350 artists each year. Each January, the Sundance Film Festival introduces a global audience to groundbreaking work and emerging talent in independent film. More than 50 other public programs connect artists with audiences to present original voices, inspire new ideas, and create community around independent storytelling.


The Queer Asian & Pacific Islander Experience

Asian American Students Alliance at Yale University, New Haven, CT | Mar 2001


Discussed my work at the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (where my training as a peer educator required me to confront homophobic and transphobic attitudes in Asian American communities based on an intersectional analysis of race, gender, sexual orientation), Educational Video Center (where I co-produced a documentary on the Gay Straight Alliance movement led by young people that is used as a resource for education and community organizing), and City-as-School High School (where I co-founded a Gay Straight Alliance).

In the early 1970s, the Asian American Students Alliance (AASA) was the only Asian American student group on Yale's campus. Now it is the vehicle for pan-Asian American unity and Asian American political action. Structurally, it serves as the umbrella organization for many Asian American groups on campus. Issues tackled by AASA include diversifying faculty and curricula, increasing funding for Asian American student activities, strengthening the Asian American Cultural Center, addressing the rise in hate crimes, reaching out to immigrants and Asian American families, increasing political representation.

Guest Artist Lecture

The Art Club at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY | Sep 1999

Discussed my training as a documentary filmmaker and my work at the Educational Video Center where I co-produced a documentary on the Gay Straight Alliance movement led by young people that is used as a resource for education and community organizing.  

The Art Club's goal is to create a consistent presence of the visual arts on Bard's campus. Their events encourage students to participate in the arts even if they do not consider themselves to be artists.

The Impact of Homophobia on HIV Infection Rates in Filipino Communities

Philippine Consulate General, New York, NY | Jun 1999


Spoke about this topic as a representative of the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS for an event that was part of the programming for Philippine Independence Day. 

The Philippine Consulate General in New York serves the consular needs of the Filipino community in the Northeast USA, numbering about 500,000 and growing. By law, regulation, and treaty, the Consulate General serves as an adjunct of the Philippine Government in the overall task of promoting and protecting the national interests of the Philippines and its citizens, implementing foreign policy within its jurisdiction. The Consulate focuses on issuance of passports and visas, civil registration, notarials and other legal services, assistance to nationals, economic diplomacy, cultural promotion, and fostering good relations with the growing Filipino-American community.