Cynthia Lopez’s presentation was very informative…what a great start to the day, in typical WAM! style.  Her overall theme was how we can use media to invoke meaningful conversation about a variety of issues. 

Lopez also spoke at length about the role of women in media and entertainment–particularly that while some positive steps have been made in terms of representation, there is still a long journey ahead of us.  Women, particularly women of color and women over 40, are noticeably absent from Sunday morning news shows, prime time television, radio, and newsrooms in general.  While some women have been successful in public broadcasting, this form of media continues to be grossly underfunded. 

Over the past 20 years, POV has created more than 250 films that represent a diverse collection of topics–poverty in Africa, white supremacy, police brutality, political corruption, discrimination in the Boy Scouts, etc. 

There were two previews shown for recent POV films.  The first was Made in L.A., about three Latina immigrants who helped rally other sweatshop workers to boycott Forever 21.  Made in L.A. has been screened hundreds of times, including at the Mexican consulate in Los Angeles and for Washington policy makers. 

We also had the opportunity to see a preview for POV’s next documentary to be aired on PBS–New Muslim Cool.  Focused on a Puerto Rican Muslim rapper named Hamza Perez, the documentary deals with Perez’s goal of lifting young people out of drugs and crime in Pittsburgh while under surveillance by the FBI (and other counter-terrorism organizations) for his religion.  It airs on PBS on June 23rd; I will definitely be watching.