By: Jennifer Burger, contributing writer
Posted by CSUB
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 12:58
Viewed 675 times
California State University, Bakersfield is embarking on an ambitious project to create a documentary about first-generation college graduates who come from a migrant labor background. The project, called “Camp to Campus,” is being funded by a $10,000 grant from Cal Humanities’ Community Stories Fund, along with $15,000 in matching funds from CSUB. After the documentary is completed, the film will be shown in schools and other locations in and beyond Kern County in January, February and March of 2013. Local high school and community college students who view the video will have the chance to compete for scholarship money at CSUB in a corresponding essay and video-essay contest. The project committee is currently seeking participants to share their personal stories and appear in the documentary. The goal is to interview a diverse group of subjects of varying ages who were the first in their families to attend college and who grew up partly in Central Valley migrant labor camps because their parents worked as migrant laborers. Stories will span as far back as the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, to the Mexican Bracero Program of the 1940s to ‘60s, to more contemporary migrant labor trends. “By gathering and sharing these stories, the documentary will offer insights about how people chose to leave the fields behind and attain higher education — and, more broadly, how first-generation college students negotiate different worlds,” said Marit MacArthur, project director and Associate Professor of English at CSUB. “What struggles have they faced? What were their motivations? And how have they succeeded?” CSUB is enlisting multiple partners to reach out to potential participants and audiences, including the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which supports migrant farmworkers or their children during their first year of college, as well as the CAMP Alumni Association. The interdisciplinary project committee involves CSUB faculty in English, digital media and art, history, economics, and library science. CSUB students will also participate in the project’s filming, editing and website production. Community Stories is a competitive grant program of Cal Humanities, an independent nonprofit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Grants are awarded to projects that give expression to the extraordinary variety of histories and experiences of California’s places and people to ensure that the stories can be shared widely. “With our state’s incredible diversity, fostering communication and connecting people to a range of ideas is vital for our general welfare,” said Ralph Lewin, president and CEO of Cal Humanities. “Our grant award enables awardees to pursue the important work of engaging new audiences in conversations around stories of significance to Californians.” Since 2003, Cal Humanities has supported approximately 400 story projects and granted over $2.6 million to enable communities to voice, record, and share histories — many previously untold or little known. For more information on Cal Humanities, visit www.calhum.org
Potential interview subjects for CSUB’s “Camp to Campus” will be asked to complete an initial survey from which a smaller pool of subjects will be chosen. To become involved in this project, contact Aaron Hegde at 661-654-2495 or email@example.com, or Marit MacArthur at 661-654-6503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.