"A video by youth from Elimu Community Center of Greensboro, NC, has been chosen as one of 21 official selections in the fourth annual “If I Had a Trillion Dollar” Youth Film Festival sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
The IHTD festival asks young people to speak out on the federal budget via short videos that answer the question “what would you do with $1 trillion—for yourself, your family, and your community.” The youth are asked to consider the $1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military; the more than $1 trillion spent on the wars abroad, and the $1 trillion plus in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Trillion Dollar Elimu comes from a team at the Elimu Community Center, which serves primarily African refugee and immigrant youth of Greensboro. In their entry they propose alternatives to the trillions of dollars that have been spent on war. One participant, Gitory Bartell from North Carolina A&T State University, says, “This issue is important because it affects people all over the nation. Whether people are aware of not, there are so many positive things that can be changed with the money spent in war. This video gave me the opportunity to look closely into spending for war.”
Other submissions came from Baltimore, Chicago, Greensboro NC, Los Angeles, and other communities around the country. Created by a diverse group of creative high school and college students, the videos feature clever lyrics and thoughtful policy recommendations on issues such as immigration, climate change, and foster care.
Young people are directly affected by conversations about state and federal budgets, yet their voices are often ignored. The film festival seeks to change that. Ultimately, AFSC wants America’s youth to think about their priorities, and then engage politically in order to bring about the changes they need and want.
The festival culminates April 12-14, 2013 in Washington DC, where AFSC will hold a youth leadership conference, and a free public screening. For updates, visit http://ihtd.org and follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter. For more on AFSC’s work for peace and justice, visit www.afsc.org, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook."
Submitted by Alexis Moore