The W.H.Y. Project: We. Hear. You
The Basics: Who. What. When. Where. Why. How.
Who We Are:
Our goal is to enable youth who are categorized “underprivileged” by statistics, and projected to fail based on economic and social standings, to use art and storytelling as a catalyst for change.
What We Do:
W.H.Y. Tampa Bay is a pilot program of The W.H.Y. Project and is a three week summer camp for middle school students.
Students will discover how to best tell the stories of their communities using still photography, video and audio.
They will participate in classroom trainings, on-location storytelling, and hands-on editing sessions with professionals.
When It's Happening:
W.H.Y. Tampa Bay will take place at the YMCA in St. Petersburg Florida, July 9-26.
Where Can You See Their Stories:
Utilizing social media as their platform, students will have their voice heard. Follow them, like them, comment to them, let them know you hear them.
W.H.Y. should You care:
Because there is a need.
When I first started teaching middle school, I met a boy named De'Qonton. Like most of his classmates, De’Qonton comes from a low income, single parent home. I’ll never forget the first time he walked into my classroom. He was loud and proud and wanted everyone to know just how cool he was.
De'Qonton's passion for life quickly outweighs his situation. In a blog post he wrote about how photography has affected him, he talks about how his life has been changed for the better by having a creative outlet. “For the first time, I love telling stories because I can express myself through photos. It makes me want to come to school every day, and it has given me something that I’m really good at.”
For him, visual storytelling is his ticket out of the vicious cycle of unattainable dreams as seen in low-income neighborhoods. His eyes have become his voice, and his voice needs to be heard.
How Can You Help:
By partnering with us to reach our goal of $5,000, you are giving volume to unheard voices. It's time to turn it up a notch.
By reaching our goal, 15 students will be given the opportunity to attend camp FREE of charge this summer. They will be given an ipod touch that they will use to capture photos, video and audio to tell their stories. Along with gear, students will be provided two meals a day, a W.H.Y. Project t-shirt and the ability to participate in trainings by industry professionals.
The funding received will also go to student transportation, and the guarantee that they will get to their assignments safely and return back to home base the same way.
Other Ways You Can Help
Being storytellers we believe in the power of our voices.
Will you join with us and raise up the volume ?
We are asking for people to speak up on our behalf. Tell your friends about what we are doing. Rally together with your neighbors, youth groups, book clubs or newsrooms to help provide a creative outlet to a generation in desperate need of positive way to express themselves.
Board of Directors
Luanne Dietz: President
Luanne has worked in various aspects of the journalism industry including newspaper and magazine, education, non profit and movie production. Luanne graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Communications with emphasis on Photojournalism from the University of Florida. Luanne has made it her goal to seek out stories with significance, and use her camera as a tool to tell them. Her endeavors have taken her around the globe, including extended periods of time in Europe and the Middle East. Luanne is currently a middle school photojournalism teacher and is passionate about education of the arts and media. Luanne is an Eddie Adams Workshop alumni and has been recognized by CPOY, the Society of Professional Journalist, and the Hearst Foundation.
Imani Cheers: Vice President
Imani has been working in communication for 13 years. She is an award winning journalist, scholar, humanitarian and educator living in the Washington, D.C. area. Imani is a May 2010 doctoral recipient from Howard University where she studied Mass Communications and Media Studies. She is also a 2002 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and has a Masters of Art degree from Howard University in African Studies and Research. Imani has traveled extensively throughout the Europe and Africa and has lived in Tanzania and South Africa. She is passionate about multimedia literacy and providing educational opportunities for young people in sub-Saharan Africa. She is currently learning French and Kiswahili.
Melissa is a staff photographer for the Tampa Bay Times (previously St. Petersburg Times). Melissa is committed to documenting the lives of people in her community, and finding an interesting way to tell their story. Her work has been recognized by UNICEF, the Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism, POYi, the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, the Southern Short Course, and the Alexia Foundation. In 2001, she started an online community called A Photo A Day, which has since then grown to over 1,650 members around the world.
George E. Curry
George is a journalist, keynote speaker, moderator and media coach. From 2001 until 2007, he served as editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service in Washington, D.C. Curry writes a weekly syndicated column for the NNPA and “Beyond the Spin,” a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Before joining the NNPA, Curry was editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine for seven years. He is past president of the American Society of Magazine Editors, the first African-American to hold the association’s top office.
Graham is a founding member and program developer of Study Edge, a collegiate tutoring company that educates and trains students through in-person and virtual lectures, study hours and exam reviews. Graham utilizes online platforms and multimedia to reach a wide range of students through facebook and social media. Graham is currently a law student at Loyola University in New Orleans, LA.
For more information regarding the project, please contact Luanne Dietz via e-mail (Luanne@thewhyproject.org) or by phone (941.232.8781), or find her on twitter (@luannedietz).