Written by Michelle Saka El

We think sometimes, another documentary, another movie, another video rant. How are these films helping us in achieving justice in our communities? Sure they make us feel something as we watch the films and then we talk about the film at the showing event and we feel good like maybe I can do something. Or we feel angry like maybe I better do something when I leave this place. Then we leave and life continues in the same way. Our family and personal problems and traumas caused by the embedded and overt injustices continue just the way they always have and we continue to adapt and in that adaptation the mutation of our minds and souls continue.

The true human inside yells through the daily stream of oppressive injustices and through our mutated thoughts and we hear. It says; check out the films maybe there’s something that can help me cause this #$@&*! just ain’t right. But the mutated self says; it’s just a film and people talking, I can look at a good Netflix movie by myself. And anyway how you gonna do something to help somebody and you can’t even help yourself against them #$@&*!

And that’s the point you can’t win against them, the oppressor, the unjust , the privileged caste, the controlling class, not by yourself. No one can do everything for themselves. We need each other. The purpose of CJFS is to ignite participation in the democratic process using documentary films about issues of injustice that provide “a catalyst to gather our communities and engage in active, forward-thinking dialogue around six themes…” Three events have passed; Education and Whole Body Wellness and Public Safety.. The documentary films were informative and motivating at the events. The discussions that followed were even more informative and motivating. Most of all people met each other and found out they are not alone in the struggle for their freedom, equality, and inclusion. The remaining films in the following themes will be: Housing, Transportation, and Wealth Building. And will conclude with a Resource Conference after the series’ topics.

Some are benefitting from the CJFS by following through on the social and political justices we have dedicated ourselves. Some are still asking where should I begin. CJFS is posting on our website information about the events and inviting everyone to post information about the subject and resources, those who attended and those who are knowledgeable about the specific themes. We want to know what you are doing about injustice and how others can join your efforts.

So the question, is CJFS entertainment or education? My response, it’s motivating, informational, but just entertaining, if you do nothing. It’s educational when we take forward thinking actions to to stop our oppression by government at all levels, institutions and even the oppression of ourselves. Here are some things that the CJFS planning committee suggests we all do after and between each film event.

  1. Have ongoing house gatherings to keep your circle together around the justice themes you are working.
  2. Post a blog or create a log/diary of the things you learned everywhere, your thoughts or ideas on social, political, and economic justice.
  3. Create an alert call/ email list of at least five to ten people involved with the theme after each film or activity associated with the theme(s).
  4. Host an activity associated with the theme event you attended and share it with CJFS planning committee.
  5. Commit to working on an ad hoc committee of one or more of the film theme(s).
  6. Make a list of little known facts about the community justice theme(s) that you learned to share with all.
  7. Tell your story, record your struggle and journey to justice, freedom, equality, and inclusion. Video and audio record your efforts the meetings, presentations, protests, everything.
  8. Research and consider running for office and boards share the information.
  9. Create and or sponsor/co-sponsor at least one activity for children of all ages on social justice awareness.
  10. Sponsor senior citizen activities especially those living in low income housing that put them in touch with their representatives, i.e, post card mailings to legislators and local officials.

No one can do everything for themselves, but we all can do something that helps everyone in our community.