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MISC's bi-weekly newsletter: March 13th, 2017
  APPLICATIONS ARE DUE APRIL 7TH!  

THE NON-PROFIT HOUR TUESDAY AT 1PM ON XRAY.FM WITH NORTHWEST OUTWARD BOUND SCHOOL AND ON THE MOVE

During this show we'll be learning about two organizations that empower people of all walks of life by encouraging them to get out and about. First we'll hear from Mitsu Iwasaki and Megan Buchholz from Northwest Outward Bound School, a nonprofit that offers transformative and educational wilderness courses set in some of the most stunning, remote areas of the United States. Then we'll speak with Leah Gagliano, the Executive Director of On The Move. Her nonprofit helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities engage in their communities by organizing volunteer opportunities, hikes, art gallery visits, and all sorts of outings. We'll also hear two short radio documentaries created by MISC summer documentarians, Savannah Tracy and Hannah Poukish. 

THE NON-PROFIT HOUR
Busy at 1pm? You can listen to our new episodes the following Monday at 6am, and all of our episodes at every hour, as well as become a sustaining member, at mediamakingchange.org/nph. Have a non-profit in Portland that deserves our Terry Gross-style Q&A coverage? Email nph@mediamakingchange.org.
  APPLY BY MARCH 30TH FOR RADIO U!  
SUMMER DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM ALUMNI PROFILES
In celebration of all the emerging media producers from ten years of our Summer Documentary Program, and in an effort to continue to share stories of social change, MISC is excited to profile our alumni and the inspiring work they're up to around the country. This week we're proud to introduce Eli Plenk, a graduate of Hampshire College working toward restorative justice in Massachusetts. 
ELI PLENK
I serve as Program Manager for Our Restorative Justice; a nonprofit in Lowell, MA that works with school, courts and communities to implement alternative approaches to justice that disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. The role is a sort of catch-all job that involves a fair amount of on-the-ground work with criminal justice involved youth as well as more structural and strategic work for the organization. The on-the-ground part of my job involves shepherding young people through a restorative justice diversion program, which is an alternative to regular court in Lowell. Our model centers on the belief that those closest to a case are the ones most qualified to resolve it and as a result our work is really about bringing together important people in a young person's life and coalescing a system of support around that kid. I like this work because I think restorative justice is a viable alternative to mass incarceration that addresses harm without resorting to retribution. It does a good job of actually dealing with the things that lead young people into the system and as a result it feels much more sustainable than our country's traditional approach to justice.

Education: Hampshire College, 2013 (American Studies major, Education minor)

2009 Summer Documentary Program video: A Home of My Own

Would you like to share any of your recent work?
Last summer I wrote a piece for the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy on faith, race, and social change. It was a profile of my friend Yehudah Webster; a deeply religious African American Jew who I met while involved in organizing against police brutality in New York. The piece emerged from a series of conversations we had, which challenged me to think differently about faith, and in particular about faith based activism. The journal is linked here and my article is on page 75.

What is a lasting memory from your summer with MISC?
I remember sitting with the other fellows (in a basement I think?) brainstorming possible documentary topics. I was astounded by the depth of my peers' ideas and by their commitment to a brand of thought that borrowed from both organizing and media making. I was new to Portland and new to adulthood and new to media and that summer I was just beginning to learn what intersectional political work entailed. Those conversations about what to cover, why to cover it, and how we as media makers relate to larger social and political movements will certainly stick with me for a long time.

Can you recommend a film, podcast, book, or media work?
I recently finished reading Yo Miss: A Graphic Look at High School and loved it. As a former teacher and current youth worker I'm very leery of books or movies that depict urban education. They tend to gravitate towards two problematic extremes; either the kids all live these totally hopeless lives and the teacher comes in and instantly saves them with literature or science or whatever, or the text is so busy trying to prove that urban kids are great that it over steers in the other direction and doesn't address the challenges that many young people face. Yo Miss was the first book I read about urban education that was able to capture a more nuanced reality; one that felt true to my experiences as an educator working with low-income kids of color. It doesn't shy away from the very real and sometimes painful struggles that young people in a school of that nature face, but it also doesn't let those struggles define the characters. When people ask me what they should read to better understand urban education this is the one book I unequivocally recommend.

Thanks for sharing your work with us, Eli! And thanks to all the alumni who shared their work and stories with us. This is the last alumni submission for now, but you can learn more about the Summer Documentary Program and if you are an alum, please email rose@mediamakingchange.org with your story. 

SPECIAL THANKS TO WILLAMETTE VALLEY DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS, OFFICIAL UNDERWRITERS TO THE NON-PROFIT HOUR!
Our radio show is proud to have support from WVDO, the leading provider of nonprofit fundraising training, and career resources in Portland and the Willamette Valley. If your business or organization is interested in becoming an underwriter for The Non-Profit Hour on XRAY.FM, please email phil@mediamakingchange.org.
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