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Truth in Reality's Fundraiser:

Redefining HERstory™ Documentary

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Update on the Redefining HERstory Documentary
July 15, 2016

Once again, we'd like to give a HUGE Thank You to all our supporters. To date, your contributions have raised $33,360 and we could not have come  See more

BENEFITING: Truth in Reality

THE STORY:

Women of color are routinely dehumanized through media depictions often rooted in historical racial stereotypes. Redefining HERstory ™ is a groundbreaking feature-length documentary that aims to re-affirm the power and redefine the dominant media narrative of one of the world’s most exploited demographics:  Black and Afro-Latina women and girls.  We envision our film will expose the truth about the origin and damage of these images, explore the diversity and beauty of Black womanhood, encourage adults and young people to make informed, thoughtful decisions about the media they consume, and spark a national dialogue on the need to diversify the existing images of Black and Afro-Latina women across all media platforms.

Redefining HERstory is more than a film…it’s a movement. 

About the Film

Narrated by Truth In Reality Founder and CEO Sil Lai Abrams, Redefining HERstory will explore meaningful truths about identify formation, oppression, and liberation through a series of interviews with thought leaders, young people, academics, content creators, and media consumers alike. By weaving together their critiques and personal stories, we will illustrate how media is a tool with the potential to uplift or degrade the human spirit. 

Redefining HERstory will examine the harm caused by destructive media messaging, how explicit vulnerabilities within our community are targeted, and how one-dimensional reflections of our stories affect our conceptions of self-love and appreciation of Black femininity in more ways than we realize. Given the current, skewed landscape of media representation and the high rates of violence against women of color, this film will go beyond the cry of gender inequality.  It dives into the reality that there is more at stake for Black women than equal pay for equal work and “Lean In” politics to help secure our seats at boardroom tables as a result of the way we are portrayed in the media.  With the disproportionately high rates of violence against Black women and girls largely going unaddressed -- we must combat the mass dissemination of racist stereotypes to help ensure the safety and survival of Black women and girls.

Redefining HERstory doesn’t just explore the link between racial stereotypes and real life violence against and between Black women and girls…it’s a call to action to increase public awareness of how skewed media representation contributes to damaging perceptions of Black and Afro-Latina women and the actions we can take to ensure our stories more consistently reflect our lived experiences and broaden our political agency.  

About the Filmmaker

Sil Lai Abrams - Director and Producer

Abrams is a social entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and domestic violence awareness advocate.  She is also a National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) award-winning writer who has authored two books: No More Drama: Nine Steps to Transforming a Breakdown into a Breakthrough (Sepia Press Publishing, 2007) and Black Lotus:  A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity (Gallery Books, August 2016). 

Through her work as a contributing writer on relationships for media outlets such as Men’s Fitness, The Grio, and EBONY magazine (digital and print), she witnessed firsthand the overwhelming amount of condemnation explicitly directed towards black female victims of violence.  In 2012, the now infamous head-butting incident between former Basketball Wives cast member Evelyn Lozada and then husband Chad Johnson began Abrams’ journey to explore and analyze the ways in which the media we consume contributes towards the cultural acceptance of violence against black women.  By and large, commenters to her articles stated that Black and Afro-Latina women not only provoked their batterers, but also deserved their abuse, often citing women’s behavior on violent reality shows as a justification for their positions. 

The Lozada/Johnson incident was the light bulb moment that led Abrams to connect how certain forms of media were reinforcing monolithic, distorted views of Black women and how society was using these stereotypes to defend the use of violence against them. This is what spurred her to form Truth In Reality – a nonprofit social advocacy organization that creates preventative solutions designed to stem the disproportionately high rates of gender-based violence in the Black community by using media as a lens for critical discussion on existing attitudes and behaviors about Black womanhood.

Why Should You Care About Media Representation?

Harmful media stereotypes of Black women create a complex political and emotional environment that often punishes individuals based upon group association.

To what extent does the Angry Black Woman trope contribute towards justification of police brutality against Black women and girls?  How does the cunning, hypersexual Jezebel stereotype facilitate the rationalization of the sexual exploitation of black girls? Why does the media continue to ignore stories about Black female victims of violence, and how does this erasure contribute to a legal environment that makes it nearly impossible for survivors to achieve justice? 

To quote the scholar Melissa Harris Perry, “…the internal, psychological, emotional, and personal experiences of Black women are inherently political.” If Black women hope to achieve economic and social justice/advancement, we must examine how the media helps to maintain a system of inequality and oppression against people of color, especially Black and Afro-Latina women and girls.

What Your Contribution Will Help Us Achieve

Your tax-deductible donation will provide Truth In Reality with an important tool to spread a message about the urgent need to create a world in which racist and sexist media stereotypes of Black and Afro-Latina women are no longer acceptable forms of entertainment.

We are daring people to imagine a world in which black and brown girls are able grow up viewing more diverse images, which will in-turn empower them to envision broader opportunities for themselves than what they are being told daily through the media. Redefining HERstory won’t just spread the word about the need for more diverse representation…it will ultimately create a safer and more equitable world.

What We Need & What You Get

Our goal of $50,000 is for pre-production, the first phase of film creation. With your donations, we can do the following:

Hire a crew:  screenwriter & researcher, associate producer, director of photography

Continue production:  scripting and storyboarding, schedule on camera interviews, scout for locations, music licensing, and sound

Any funds raised above $50,000 will enable us to hire a grant writer to apply for foundation support, create custom graphics, and begin traveling on location for shoots.

If we don’t reach our goal, we will use the donations to hire a writer and researcher, grant writer, and associate producer that will help us continue to push the project forward.

The Team

Director & Producer:  Sil Lai Abrams

Abrams own ability to overcome a youth spent as a teen runaway and high school dropout, single mother on public assistance, and victim of sexual assault and domestic violence – to redefine her story from one of pain and struggle to one of service and purpose, is the driving force behind her work to ensure that all black and brown women and girls recognize the power they have to be living counter narratives that push back on the dominant media messages about black womanhood.  Hardworking and mission centered, she is a tenacious fundraiser, having helped raise over $600,000 in donations for various non-profits over the past decade and successfully secured six-figures in angel funds for her own personal development and publishing company, Sepia LLC.  Through her work with Truth In Reality, Abrams has demonstrated unwavering commitment for more diverse media representations of Black women over the past three and a half years.

Executive Producer:  Sean Joell Johnson

Sean Joell Johnson is an award winning television producer as well as a business affairs attorney and former network executive.  Johnson is currently the Principal of LeftCenter Entertainment Inc., a television and digital production company.   

Johnson recently executive produced 'ABFF Independent,' the first original series on Magic Johnson's ASPiRE television network.

Johnson also executive produced Model City, the first original series from BET Networks and MTV Networks’ Centric channel, as well as Leading Women (NAACP Image Award nominee) and Leading Men for the network.  Johnson also produced Lens on Talent (NAMIC Vision Award winner) for BET and worked as a Development Consultant for Red Bull Media House.

Prior to focusing on the new Centric series, Johnson split his time overseeing Programming Strategy for BET J (the precursor to Centric) and executive producing a number of television series for the network including Real Life Divas, The J List and My Two Cents.  Johnson was a key architect in transitioning the former ‘BET Jazz’ into ‘BET J’; sourcing the graphic and logo design teams; assisting in creating programming grids; and developing the programming philosophy and strategy for the repositioned network. 

Johnson has also served as Executive Producer/EIC for Tempo, an MTV Networks’ digital network focusing exclusively on the Caribbean.  

As Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for MTV, Johnson was responsible for structuring, negotiating and drafting agreements including development, talent, executive producer, and programming acquisition contracts.  Johnson negotiated the deals for several of MTV’s biggest hits including The Osbournes, Punk’d and True Life; and oversaw all of the channel’s Production department business and legal affairs matters including the MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Movie Awards. 

Consulting Producer:  Geraldine Moriba

Geraldine Moriba is the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for CNN Worldwide, developing strategic business initiatives to support the newsroom and reported content, and an executive producer with original program development. Prior to that she served as the Executive Producer of CNN's award winning In America documentary series on the full range of American identities. Geraldine joined CNN after working at NBC News and MSNBC.

As an independent filmmaker Geraldine is the director, writer and executive producer of Until 20, which documents the inspirational life of James Ragan, a Latino Texan, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at age 13. It’s about his journey as a promising young golfer trying to save the life of the next kid with cancer, before his own time runs out. Until 20 won the Austin Film Festival Marquee Film Audience Award and Courage Award, and the Virginia Film Festival Audience Award for a documentary Feature. 

Geraldine is the recipient of five Emmy awards, an Alfred I. DuPont Award and two Peabody Awards. She has two RTNDA-Unity Awards, two Newswomen’s New York Front Page News Feature Awards, two National Association of Black Journalists First Place Documentary Awards, four New York Association of Black Journalists awards, four New York Film Festival Awards, the US Films Video Festival Silver Screen Award, two National Headliner Awards, the “Chris” Award of the Columbus International Film and Video Festival and a Nancy Susan Reynolds Informational Documentary Finalist Award. 

Other Ways You Can Help

Just because you can't make a financial contribute doesn’t mean you can’t help!

  • Share our campaign on social media…we need your voice to succeed!
  • Consider writing a feature on your blog about Redefining HERstory or referring us to any media outlets with a shared interest.
  • Email a link to this page to people you know who may be able to make a financial contribution

 

 

DONATE

To This Fundraiser

$33,360

MONEY RAISED
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  • Janora McDuffie

    $50

  • Twana King

    $75

  • Lisa Chen

    $75

  • Anita Rodriguez

    $75

  • Anonymous

    $150

  • Patricia Webster

    $75

  • Veronica Sweeney

    $75

  • Sabrina Kizzie

    $75

  • Dan Adams

    $75

  • Rebecca Pardieu

    $75

  • Dee Marshall

    $75

  • Anonymous

    $75

  • Natalie McKenzie

    $150

  • Abimbola Bamgboye

    $75

  • Alshante Squire

    $75

  • Renau Daniels

    $150

  • Towanda Edwards

    $75

  • LaQuanda Murray

    $75

  • Yvonne McNair

    $75

  • Anonymous

    $825

  • Crystal Williams

    $75

  • Stacey Justice

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Steeve Valbrun

    $50

  • Pat France

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Clint Barnard-El

     

  • SDDowdy

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $10

  • Yolanda Mann

    $50

  • Karen Jackson

    $25

  • Leslie Mitchell

    $25

  • Lynne Young

    $25

  • Brett Walker

    $20

  • Erika Watson

    $25

  • Yvette Bridges

    $25

  • Albert Watkins

    $20

  • Vedo Pettaway

    $20

  • Anonymous

    $20

  • Michelle L. Cooks

    $20

  • Paul & Timara Nichols

    $20

  • Fary's Girls

    $100

  • Lori Greene

    $25

  • Monica Jacksy

    $50

  • Tradina Waller

     

  • Latoya A Johnson

     

  • Sandra Grate

    $50

  • Kanisha Adkins

    $20

  • M.Mondo

    $20

  • C Baker

    $50

  • Tai Beauchamp

    $100

  • TaRessa Stovall

    $20

  • India K. Autry

     

  • Zara Green

     

  • Richelle Carey

    $100

  • Traci E. Williams

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • M. Sanders

    $25

  • Susan J Ross

    $50

  • Cindy Swisher

    $50

  • LINEIJ Inc.

     

  • Elaina Dariah

    $20

  • Helen Dukes

    $20

  • Anonymous

    $10

  • Estelle Wilcox

    $20

  • Dawn R. Triplett

     

  • Anonymous

     

  • Linda Bussell

    $20

  • James Warden

    $20

  • Deborah Noblin

    $20

  • Angelika White

    $10

  • Nanette Dickson

    $10

  • Nancy Collins

    $50

  • Fernando Allen

    $10

  • Stephanie Williams

    $20

  • Sylvia Gipson

    $20

  • D'An Carter & Family

    $25

  • Kim Nickerson

    $20

  • Merike Manley and The Lake Alabaster Box

    $10

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Nicole Gooden

    $20

  • Black Girls Unscripted

     

  • angie writes

     

  • Amber

     

  • Tameka Young

    $20

  • Anonymous

    $5,000

  • Cecilia Nelson

     

  • Dan Sturtevant

    $50

  • Paula Stokes

    $20

  • Jamal H. Bryant

    $500

  • Treosha Blue

    $50

  • Alia Jones-Harvey

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $250

  • c/o Laniece Williams

    $30

  • Laniece Williams

    $100

  • Laniece's Birthday

    $20

  • Michael W

    $150

  • Crystal Brown

    $30

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Reyna Roldan

    $10

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67% Raised of $50,000 Goal

Donation Tiers


Shout Out

  • We’ll tell the world about your support by giving you a shout out on Twitter & Facebook.

Donate $10

Digi Perk

  • You’ll receive the prior perk PLUS a digital download of the Redefining HERstory documentary.
  • *while supplies last

Donate $20

Webby Perk

  • You’ll receive the prior perks PLUS your name will be included on the official list of documentary supporters on the Truth In Reality website.
  • *while supplies last

Donate $50

Speak Up!

  • You’ll receive the prior perks PLUS a Redefining HERstory t-shirt and be followed/friended by Truth In Reality on Twitter and Instagram.
  • *while supplies last

Donate $100

Wake Up!

  • You’ll receive the prior perks PLUS an autographed commemorative film poster and autographed DVD.
  • *while supplies last

Donate $250

Rise Up!

  • You’ll receive the prior perks PLUS ONE invitation to the film premiere & reception, and a Redefining HERstory coffee mug.
  • *while supplies last

Donate $500

Come Up!

  • You’ll receive the prior perks PLUS TWO invitations to the film premiere & reception, and a Redefining HERstory tote.
  • *while supplies last

Donate $1,000

Dial Up!

  • You’ll receive the prior perks PLUS a twenty minute Skype call with the filmmakers.
  • *while supplies last

Donate $1,500

Team Up!

  • You’ll receive the prior perks PLUS Assistant Producer film credit and name listed in the event brochure as a sponsor of the premiere & reception.
  • *while supplies last

Donate $2,500

Move Up!

  • You’ll the prior perks PLUS Associate Producer film credit, 10 autographed copies of the Redefining HERstory DVD for donation to the school/charity of your choice, and FOUR invitations to the film premiere & reception.
  • *while supplies last

Donate $5,000

Get Up!

  • You’ll receive the prior perks PLUS Co-Producer film credit, 15 autographed copies of the Redefining HERstory DVD for donation to the school/charity of your choice, and 5 Redefining HERstory t-shirts, totes, and coffee mugs (each).
  • *while supplies last

Donate $7,500

Boss Up!

  • You’ll receive the prior perks PLUS Producer film credit, 20 autographed copies of the Redefining HERstory DVD for donation to the school/charity of your choice, 60 minute Skype call with filmmakers, TEN invitations to the film premiere & reception, 10 Redefining HERstory t-shirts, totes, and coffee mugs (each).
  • *while supplies last

Donate $10,000

*Please note, that prior perks that include tickets to the premiere & reception and tangible goods are not added on to the next tier of support. For example, if you make a $5,000 donation, you will not receive the five invitations listed in the prior levels or other merchandise; perks are not cumulative.

The Team: $33,360 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

Fundraiser Title

Truth in Reality

Amount Raised

$33,335

 

67% Raised of $50,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Ashley Evans

Amount Raised

$25

Donor Comments

Reyna Roldan

Reyna Roldan

DONATION: $10

8 months ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $50

In memory of Lucille Prescott and Ruby Sergio 9 months ago

Crystal Brown

Crystal Brown

DONATION: $30

9 months ago

Michael W

Michael W

DONATION: $150

9 months ago

Laniece's Birthday

Laniece's Birthday

DONATION: $20

Laniece's Birthday 10 months ago

Laniece Williams

Laniece Williams

DONATION: $100

10 months ago

c/o Laniece Williams

c/o Laniece Williams

DONATION: $30

In Honor of Laniece Williams 30th Birthday 10 months ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $250

10 months ago

Alia Jones-Harvey

Alia Jones-Harvey

DONATION: $100

So proud of Sil Lai Abrams! 10 months ago

Treosha Blue

Treosha Blue

DONATION: $50

10 months ago