Community Justice Project and Oolite Arts, will host the second annual “Pass the Mic: We Will Tell Our Stories” film screening July 22. This year’s films were developed with a model of participatory storytelling through which Miami’s community experts drive narratives and share their stories through the lenses of local filmmakers. The free event begins at 7 p.m. at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. RSVP is required here.
“Storytelling is powerful and it is necessary that we democratize who gets to tell the stories of Miami-Dade,” said Nadege Green, Director of Community Research and Storytelling at Community Justice Project. “When we consider the issues our communities face, we have to amplify the voices of the people directly experiencing these challenges and fighting for justice in Miami-Dade.”
According to Green, the Miami-based Community Justice Project will use the films to engage more people in finding solutions for these challenges and build collective power locally as the organization continues working with community-led movements.
Oolite Arts, the Miami-Beach arts incubator that works to advance the careers of Miami-based artists, believes that filmmakers have an important role to play in communities. “The arts can play a powerful role in the search for social justice,” said Dennis Scholl, president and CEO of Oolite Arts. “Real stories, like the ones told through ‘Pass the Mic’ can cause you to see the world in a different way and move people to action.”
The film lineup includes:
Apart < A Part: This film tells the story of Allapattah’s Fidel Aquino, a.k.a. Aquino the Tailor. His shop, which has been in the neighborhood for decades, is under pressure from rising rents as the neighborhood changes around him. The film follows him as he creates a guayabera by hand and reflects on keeping his business alive. The film is by Ronald Baez with the Allapattah Collaborative CDC.
Monarcas: This documentary follows two Guatemalan day laborers’ fight against wage theft and their journey through activism for vulnerable undocumented workers, while experiencing their own personal transformations. The Homestead men and their colleagues sued their roofing employer for back wages, but their fight didn’t stop there. Filmmaker Diana Larrea created the film in collaboration with community experts Alejandro and Pedro and WeCount.
Rooted like a Tree: This film follows the Miami Workers Center and its members—made up largely of working-class women of color—as they fight to enact the first Tenant Bill of Rights in Miami-Dade County (it was approved in May of 2022. The bill of rights affords more legal protection to renters, many of whom were already fighting rising rents and threats of evictions. “I want the community to see the work that people put into this— workers from our community, Black and Brown women, and domestic workers—and how they were able to come together to do something that’s never been done in Miami,” said filmmaker Terence Price II, who created the film in collaboration with the Miami Workers Center.