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Interlock Media, Inc, Cambridge, Michigan
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Interlock Media is a non-profit organization that produces media on the environment and human rights. Its mission is to support informed empowerment at the grassroots and community level by producing educational mediaworks; by carrying media techniques and technologies to the community level; and guaranteeing that production is an inclusive and diversified process. By identifying and confronting environmental crises before they reach the mainstream media, Interlock has earned a national reputation for journalistic integrity, intimate visual portrayal and broad program dissemination.
Historical Overview Interlock Media began in the early 1980s by producing field radio reports to highlight global climate change and the urgency of the survival of the indigenous peoples who protect the earth's most fragile lands. Struck by the beauty of the Latin American rain forests, as well as natural environments in Asia and Africa, founders Kenneth Andrasko and Jonathan Schwartz set out to communicate the importance of these unique regions as intellectual and economic resources for the communities who traditionally inhabit them. Their early productions were evocative stories and mesmerizing soundscapes for programs such as the Horizons and the All Things Considered series on National Public Radio. Documenting the value of the world's fragile wildlands; empowering indigenous communities Interlock tracked the loss of irreplaceable habitats in the tropics as the result of rampant development, documented the ramifications of such devastation, and offered real solutions to the problem by training select communities to create their own video and radio programs. Through these programs, communities were encouraged to communicate techniques for sustainable resource management, share folkways, and use the media to set forth their own ideas on medical and traditional environmental knowledge. Interlock, in a modest fashion, was part of a movement to bring a voice to the voiceless, not only by drawing attention to the ruin of the land and what locals were doing about it, but also by empowering indigenous populations to create their own educational media. Educational Broadcasting Our work continued on a more significant scale when we began close collaboration with the United Nations and multi-lateral aid agencies in the eighties, training hundreds of writers, actors, educators, administrators and musicians in producing broadcast media for distance learning. Subjects of study included the environment, healthcare, domestic abuse, special health issues for street kids and gang victims, and infant survival. Interlock led teams in fifteen countries, over the course of as many years, including New Guinea, Nepal, the Ivory Coast, and Guyana. In addition, we produced our own program segments that covered pressing conservation and social issues in countries where we served as consultants. Specifically, we contributed to a series of feature films and soap operas that addressed issues of overpopulation by empowering the education of both young girls and women. Media Literacy and Youth Interlock then reoriented itself to work with communities in urban areas, including young people. Interlock remained steadfast in finding accessible ways to educate youth about the environment and their relationship to it, as well as helping them develop the skills necessary to voice their concerns through the mass media, and about the mass media. Seeking Relief, on urban asthma, explored the rise of the disease to epidemic proportions and what could be done to. Due to these local efforts, Interlock was well prepared when invited to address graduate students of public health communication at both Boston University and Harvard. US Justice, Global Conservation and Modern Slavery Currently, Interlock is in varied phases of production on a range of documentary stories. We examine the long-term causes and consequences of prison rape in American prisons in Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars, and in Faith in the Big House we address the growth of faith-based rehabilitation programs. The Extraordinary Passage of the Great White Hunter will explore the global conservation movement, focusing on Harold J. Coolidge's field work and his legacy as one of the first advocates of the conservation of species and their natural habitats. TODAY Recent projects at Interlock Media focus on prison life, and the aspects that directly impact the neighborhoods into which inmates are released. By frankly discussing both rape and a growing faith movement in prison, Interlock is attempting to show the damage caused by life in prison, the damage expressed in life outside prison, and to explore potential ways to reduce recidivism through healing the damage.
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