Harvard Student Films Supervised by Joanna Lipper

These twelve short student films were selected from the many made over the years by undergraduates enrolled in Joanna Lipper's course "Using Film For Social Change" in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University. The Course was cross-listed with two additional departments: Women, Gender and Sexuality and Visual and Environmental Studies. Most of these students had never taken a filmmaking class before and had little or no prior filmmaking experience. They had one semester (15 weeks) during which time they had to shoot and complete these projects, attend classes, screenings and technical sections, and write a fifteen-page paper related to their ethnographic research as well as weekly response papers to films screened for the class. Lipper's course was part of the Social Engagement Initiative and was distinguished by the university's committee on diversity and inclusion for excellence in its curriculum in these areas. By focusing on specific issues (such as poverty, educational disparities, healthcare, employment opportunities, immigration, diasporic culture and identity, gender roles, incarceration, rehabilitation and re-entry to society), Social Engagement courses seek to wed academic study with practical experience and activity-based learning. Through coordinated interdisciplinary coursework and qualitative and quantitative research, students explore and reflect using visual anthropological and ethnographic approaches and methodologies both within and beyond the university environment, working ethically and collaboratively with human subjects.

A Father's Presence

a film by Akshay Sharma

A glimpse into the life and work of Charles Daniels and the men with him at Father's Uplift. Father’s Uplift is a Boston-based nonprofit organization that is run out of the Men’s Health and Recovery office of the Boston Public Health Commission. Father’s Uplift works to combat the structural barriers that prevent men from engaging with their children. Father’s Uplift provides services to help men strengthen themselves emotionally and professionally. Their signature uplifting groups work to help men deal with anger, express difficult emotions, and find spiritual healing, a facet of counseling that many men in the program, being religious, greatly appreciate.