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BK Reader Presents: The COVID-19 Writers Project

Inspired by The WPA/FWP Oral Slave Narratives, The C19WP is a multimedia archive of first-person narratives around COVID-19.

$11,454
pledged of$58,000 goal
19
154Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on June 30, 2021

Project Description

Founded in 2013, The Brooklyn Reader (www.bkreader.com) is a community newspaper covering the most underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods across central and east Brooklyn, including Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Brownsville, East New York, Flatbush, Prospect Heights and Bushwick.

BK Reader is the first and only black-owned (and woman-owned) daily community news site in New York State, M/WBE certified to do business with the City of New York.

From city and state government officials, to mom-and-pop store owners; from community board members, to public housing residents; BK Reader is Brooklyn’s most trusted source for local news and information because it belongs to the community.

"When America Catches the Flu"

 

 

As a global community, we are in the middle of the worst health pandemic any of us have every experienced in our lifetime. BK Reader's work has accelerated exponentially, as it is during this time, we turn most heavily to the media for new information and also to the voices of our leaders for the best way forward. 

However, throughout American history, the most powerful, most amplified voices inevitably are often those most removed from the crisis, while the voices of the marginalized and most vulnerable-- the homeless, the sick and the poor-- are turned down, ignored or muted altogether.

This has devastating consequences for minority communities, because when America catches a cold, its vulnerable communities catch the flu. And when America catches the flu, its vulnerable communities die.

As founder of BK Reader, I chose journalism to bring equity and balance to the voices in media. It is also why, following the onset of the COVID-19 citiwide quarantine, BK Reader launched The COVID-19 Writers Project (C19WP), a multimedia documentation and archive of the coronavirus pandemic experience through first-person narratives of Brooklyn residents. 

Inspired by President Roosevelt's WPA Program and Federal Writers Project that spawned the oral slave narratives, C19WP effectively demonstrates the pandemic's diverse effect on Brooklyn's residents by examining how health outcomes are impacted by education, socio-economics and race.

With grant support from The Pulitzer Center, National Geographic Society and the American Medical AssociationC19WP captures the voices of everyday residents across all demographics, including  those living on the the margins during this crisis, such as the formerly incarcerated, homeless residents, emergency room doctors, nurse technicians, high school students and an HIV-positive resident, amongst so many others.

Photo by Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez for The COVID-19 Writers Project: Recovery; "Summer Serenade"

The C19WP multimedia has been extraordinary accomplishment which includes:

  • Ten 20- to 30-min videos (5 hours of footage) on COVID-19 Crisis, Response, Devastation, Awakening and Recovery

  • Five (5) Essays on COVID-19 Crisis, Response, Devastation, Awakening and Recovery

  • Twenty-Five (25) Profile Summaries of participants

  • Five (5) Photo Essays on COVID-19 Crisis, Response, Devastation, Awakening and Recovery

All of the videos can be found on the C19WP YOUTUBE channel, and the full project can be viewed here and here.

Photo by Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez for the COVID-19 Writers Project: Devastation: "B38"

Currently, we are raising funds for The COVID-19 Writers Project (C19WP) to create:

  • A 90-min documentary (abbreviated and edited from the current 5 hrs of project video footage); and 
  • An educational curriculum (grades 6-12) around C19WP

This next endeavor will help to amplify the project's work to a much wider audience through the 90-min documentary, aimed at cable tv programming. The school curriculum will provide a roadmap for educators in teaching both first-person storytelling and point-of-view survey and reporting; while developing empathy and leadership amongst young students through exercises in crisis analysis and response.

COSTS

DOCUMENTARY BUDGET

  • Writing/Storyboarding; $3,500
  • Production/Direction/Co-Directions; $8,500
  • 10-20 additional hours of Filming (2 cameras); $3,250
  • Editing/Post Editing: $12,000
  • Marketing Materials/Pitching: $5,000
  • Misc: $2,000

Sub-TOTAL  $34,250

 

CURRICULUM BUDGET

  • Curriculum development (via Illinois State University); Grades 6-8, $7,000
  • Curriculum development (via Illinois State University); Grades 9-12, $9,750
  • Marketing Materials/Pitching: $5,000
  • Misc: $2,000

Sub-TOTAL  $23,750

 

TOTAL $58,000

 

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Michio Chassagne
01/27/2021
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10.00 USD
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25.00 USD
Small gift

A shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms; and A BK Reader keychain

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50.00 USD
Two small gifts

 shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms and A BK Reader mask

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250.00 USD
Three small gifts

A shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms; A BK Reader mask; A BK Reader T-shirt and keychain

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1,000.00 USD
Credit Inclusion

A shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms; A BK Reader T-shirt; Inclusion in documentary credits

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5,000.00 USD
Co-Producer Credit

A shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms; A BK Reader T-shirt; Co-Producer credit in documentary

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Rewards

10.00 USD
Acknowledgement

A shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms

0 Supporters
Select this reward
25.00 USD
Small gift

A shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms; and A BK Reader keychain

3 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
Two small gifts

 shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms and A BK Reader mask

2 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
Three small gifts

A shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms; A BK Reader mask; A BK Reader T-shirt and keychain

0 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Credit Inclusion

A shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms; A BK Reader T-shirt; Inclusion in documentary credits

0 Supporters
Select this reward
5,000.00 USD
Co-Producer Credit

A shoutout on BK Reader's Social Media Platforms; A BK Reader T-shirt; Co-Producer credit in documentary

0 Supporters
Select this reward