Former African Taxi Driver Turns Her Successful Restaurant Over To Her Sons

Masswana Restaurant Manager, Yohanes Tekestes, on his parents exodus from conflict-ridden Eritrea to taking the reigns of the family business.  

Almaz Ghebrezgabher, Co-Owner, Massawa Restaurant, is feeling a great sense of relief.  After 30 years of cooking and managing the East African, Massawa Restaurant, with her husband, Amanuel Tekeste, she is expanding the restaurant, and turning the business over to her four children.

She has trouble articulating her happiness and feelings of accomplishment but when we watch her on the video, we share in her joy.

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What Do Kids Learn By Making Videos?

Our students at Brownsville Collaborative Middle School address their peers on what they learned about making videos at The Campus, an after-school program that teaches tech and media skills to kids in the Howard Houses in Brownsville, Brooklyn.  It is the first computer lab developed in public housing in the US.

Founded by Senator Jesse Hamilton (D),

Emoni Talks To Her Peers at P.S. 156

to address this systemic problem of inequality, Senator Hamilton assembled teachers and community leaders to bring tech resources to Brownsville.

We spent an academic year teaching kids about storytelling through photography and video.  Their stories and observations can be seen on their blog: Brownsville Visible

In addition to the blog,  check out the video below to learn what Emoni, Tyrese, Isiah and Kymani learned in making their stories.

To see the student videos, click on the links for the Brownsville Barber Guru and the interview with Local Hero, Brownsville Collaborative Middle School  Principal, Gregory Jackson.

Brownsville Media Lab Screens Films On Identity, Poverty and Police.

The Brownsville Community Justice Center and Reel Works screened films from the recent piloted Brownsville Media Lab program.

The screenings took place at the
New York Institute of Technology Auditorium
1871 Broadway @ 63rd St.

The filmmakers tackled tough issues they are grappling in their young lives like identity, beauty, race, police, violence, poverty and grief.  They felt a great sense of accomplishment and a stronger connection to the community by sharing very personal things they thought only they grapple with.

When asked what was the key thing he learned from the filmmaking process, Ray Graham said, “Patience.  I wanted to quit the lab two times because I didn’t think the film was coming together.”

Judging from the audience’s supportive response, Graham’s patience and the gamble to open up paid off, they learned they are not alone with their feelings and perceptions about living in Brownsville Brooklyn in these volatile times.

The Brownsville Media Lab runs simultaneous with other tracks that include the Young Adult Entrepreneurship track, Community Benefits Projects track and the Mark Morris Dance Group track. All tracks are to develop our youth and provide new career opportunities that at one time seemed unimaginable.

Missed the screening? Check out the videos below.

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Wellesley High School Girls Step Up

Out with the old and in with the new, Wellesley High School, in Wellesley, MA will tear down the old school.  No need to worry that education is going down the tubes in this town.  Wellesley will soon have a state-of-the-art high school right next door.  But before the February demolition, beloved former English teacher, Jeanie Goddard, and community member, Gig Babson, organized a spectacular celebration, Turn Out The Lights, to mark the historic transition.

Wellesley High School, Wellesley MA

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NYT’s Tom Friedman Recommends Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

New York Times Columnist, Tom Friedman recently delivered the keynote address at the Special Libraries Association Conference in Philadelphia.
The conference focuses on how libraries, governments, companies and individuals use new technologies to gather and disseminate information.
Friedman recommends Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement address as required viewing.  He says the video is one of the best examples of how to approach the process of an innovative life.
Job’s encourages the students to find their passion, but where he diverges from the standard graduation commencement platitudes is when he tells the students to not waste time, they will not be young forever and they will die.  Quite refreshing in this death phobic society, but there is a lot more in Jobs’ speech and notes from Friedman’s recent talk.

Afghan Kids Want Computers

Afghan Kids Want Laptops

On this day we travel to a high school in Charikar in Parwan Province,  a 90- minute car drive from Kabul centre.  The school does not have electricity or running water but the students have more things on their minds.  Computers.

Can’t see in on Vimeo?  Watch it on YouTube.