Be The Change
LHSC teams up with international nonprofit Shoot4Change for two high-profile events in April
Photos say what words cannot. Now more than ever, the importance of genuine photojournalism and visual storytelling is vital to the future of news coverage.
Since 2016, the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication has partnered with Shoot4Change (S4C), an international nonprofit, to bring attention to people, places, events and stories that mainstream news outlets typically don’t cover.
The collaboration began during a SCO in Rome! trip. A group of 11 LHSC students, led by professors Jeffrey Morosoff and Randal Hillebrand, and S4C representatives traveled to L’Aquila, an earthquake-ravaged city in central Italy, to document how the city was still struggling to recover after six years of ineffective government assistance.
The experience was so moving that students vowed to continue to engage with Shoot4Change after returning to the United States.
That vow evolved into LHSC-student led upgrades to S4C’s website, enhancements to its social media activity, improvements to Italian-to-English translation for documentary videos, and the creation of content for its various platforms and media outlets.
It also meant the creation of a New York chapter of S4C, overseen by the LHSC students, alumni and faculty, and the first-ever Shoot4Change-a-thon and Shoot4Change Conference, being held April 8 and 10, respectively at Hofstra University.
For the students involved in the project, the Shoot4Change-a-thon has had a deep impact.
“We will not only feature members of the organization, but also shed light on the Hofstra community and its efforts in activism, social change, and acknowledging the beautiful diversity that exists within,” said Shoot4Change-a-thon’s associate producer, video/TV major Ciera Paily ’18.
Sam Friedland ’18, production manager and a video/TV major, describes the event as a variety show with acts he and other members of the team chose because of their connection and relevance to the message of S4C.
“We will be relying heavily on an explanation-to-demonstration model,” said associate producer Arturo Chacon ’18, a video/TV major. “Our target audience is mainly students and young adults, potentially specifically viewers interested in communication.”
“We’re going to showcase what Shoot4Change is all about — acting locally, and thinking globally,” said the show’s producer, video/TV and film major Courtney Richmond ’18. “I’m really excited to see what students in the next few years will accomplish from building off of our blueprint.”
Bringing S4C to Hofstra
On Tuesday, April 10, the Shoot4Change Conference arrives at the Mack Student Center. A daylong event, the conference’s sessions will examine photojournalism past and present, and how modern ‘docujournalists’ are using social media to reach audiences in innovative ways that transcend the barriers presented by established media.
Invited guests include Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and educator Greg Marinovich, New York Times photojournalist James Estrin, Shoot4Change founder Antonio Amendola and many more. The Keynote by former NY City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Session 3 panel with immigration rights activist Ravi Ragbir, Syran refugee Ahed Festuk and publicly shielded immigrant Aura Hernandez, will be streamed at Livestream.com/HofstraU. Visit hofstra.edu/s4cny for the conference schedule.
“Working with S4C means being a part of something bigger,” said Lauren Acone ’18, a PR major who is helping to promote the event. “S4C has made me see things outside of myself, made me take a step back and most importantly made me feel like I can help.”
Also addressed at the conference will be a major theme of Shoot4Change — namely the refugee and immigrant crises, both domestic and international.
“The Shoot4Change team lives by the motto ‘Shoot local. Change Global’. After seeing how important it is to share the stories of victims who lost their voices, I became passionate about the organization,” said PR major Sarah Schwartz ’18, also assisting at the event. “Photographs can be moving and share a message of a thousand words without any actual writing attached.”
Related sessions include how one international NGO has used 360° immersive video to help Italian school children become “connected” to the realities of the refugee crisis, and another that will bring Holocaust survivors face-to-face with modern-day immigrants to find commonalities of experience that transcend the time between them.
“I am so excited to be reunited with some of the S4C family for the conference,” said Sara Whitman ’18, a journalism major who was part of the 2016 SCO in Rome! trip. “The S4C conference was once an idea brought to us at a meeting, and to see everyone take part in it and mold it into a day-long event that features award-winning multi-media journalists from around the world is incredibly rewarding and thrilling. ”
“I love that I get to work with such an inspiring organization,” said Danielle Drop ’18, another PR student working with S4C on the conference. “S4C has a great mission in regards to social justice through visual media, and I’m just lucky to be a part of such a wonderful group of students, professors, and journalists who are working to make the world a better place — one photograph at a time.”
Watch the April 8 Shoot4Change-a-thon live on the HEAT Network and Shoot4Change-a-thon Facebook page at 8 p.m., and join us for the Shoot4Change Conference April 10 at 9 a.m.
Funding for the S4C conference has been provided by the Hofstra Cultural Center; Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; Joseph G. Astman Endowed Fund in the Hofstra Cultural Center; Department of Radio, Television, Film; Department Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations; Women’s Studies program; Department of Romance Languages and Literatures; Dorothy and Elmer Kirsch Endowment Fund for the Hofstra Cultural Center; Hofstra University’s Department of Religion and the Jewish Studies program; and Maurice A. Dean School of Law Student Bar Association.
For more information, contact Randy Hillebrand, conference director, at Randal.K.Hillebrand@hofstra.edu or the Hofstra Cultural Center at 516.463.5669.