About the Filmmaker
My name is Carolyn Brown and I’m a Journalism Professor at American University and an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker. As the daughter of a Latin American immigrant, who grew up in a bicultural and bilingual family, I feel especially connected to the Latino community. I understand the struggles and dreams of immigrants and am committed to telling their stories. All of my work is about Latino communities, the Latino experience in the U.S., the border, and the anti-immigrant movement. My first two films have done great on PBS stations and NBC affiliates. But I’m not done with this very important work. There are more Latino voices that need to be heard. The goal of this project, and my work, is to intervene in popular stereotypes that depict Latinos as “illegals,” or “gang members,”. I want to tell positive and realistic stories about Latinos and the communities where they live.
For more about my work and me visit www.carolynebrown.com.
What I Need
I'm trying to raise money to complete the final production and post-production of this film. So far, about 80% of the film is shot. This work has been funded mostly by a grant from American University.
About The Salinas Project Documentary
About one hour south of the wealthy Silicon Valley, sits the agricultural town of Salinas, California. On the east side of Salinas, in a neighborhood known as Alisal, deplorable housing conditions and gang violence are part of daily life. This documentary profiles several children of migrant farm workers living in the Salinas Valley, specifically in Alisal. Without resources, and sometimes undocumented, their future is often uncertain, but their hope and resilience are abundant.
The city of Salinas, sits at the head of a fertile valley. Every day Americans eat produce that is handpicked by migrant farm workers here. Along with an abundance of other crops, 80% of the nation’s lettuce and artichokes are grown here, but few understand the challenges the farm workers and their children face. These farm workers are the backbone of agriculture in the United States and contribute to our food supply, yet they live in the shadows in inadequate housing, in dangerous neighborhoods, where gangs prey on vulnerable young people, left home alone, while their parents work long hours in the fields.
This film helps viewers understand the Salinas community that is often misrepresented in the media. News stories have often focused on gang violence, often marginalizing the lives of those who work in the fields, and their children. Furthermore, the film brings to light the systemic causes of the problems in East Salinas and highlights the successes and hopes of this community.
Despite the challenges in Salinas, there is a growing sense of community pride and a desire to improve social and economic conditions in Alisal. The young people of Salinas, the children of migrant farm workers, are educating themselves and changing their lives, one generation at a time.
Team on This Campaign: