Ethnic Studies NOW - Compton: Language of Power (2016)

Shot by: Arlene Mejorado
Cut by: Sarah Garrahan

A short documentary shot on June 29th 2016 gives light to the struggles and dire need for ethnic studies in k-12 schools in Compton, CA. Through the voices of two Compton community members, Lucha Arevalo and Desiree Gaytan, a story is painted of what it is like to grow up a city with a unique history, a place of violence and neglect but also resilience and hope. They express how an ethnic studies education for youth will be an essential tool to healing the city and enabling it to flourish. For more information please visit


Sagrada Feminina (2016)

Filmmaker: Arlene Mejorado
Editor: Sarah Garrahan
Producer: Arabella Daniels

This documentary explores the work by Collective Altoparlante, an effort by Olga Memeche, Obdulia Toto, Yenaira Catemaxca, and Francisca Catemaxca, youth from Los Nacimientos de Xogapan, Veracruz, Mexico. The collective focused on reclaiming traditions, wisdom and practices by the elders and ancestors of the community with the intention of fostering autonomy as women. Doña Inés Escribano demonstrates the preparation of traditional food called totoposte de frijol negro and Doña Felipa Toto offers stories of wisdom and knowledge as a doula and midwife in the community. Also, she illustrates physical therapy used to help a pregnancy improve in development. The young women try out remedy they learned from Doña Felipa using the maravillosa leaf to cure body ailments as well as share their experiences as women growing up in their community as well as concerns for the future regarding water resources and the future of the natural environment they depend on.

Este documental expone el trabajo del Colectivo Altoparlante compuesto por las jóvenes Olga Memeche, Obdulia Toto, Yenaira Catemaxca, y Francisca Catemaxca en Los Nacimientos de Xogapan, Veracruz, Mexico. El colectivo se enfoca en recolectar tradiciones, memorias, y practicas de las señoras ancianas de la comunidad con la intención de fortalecer la autonomía de la mujer. La señora Doña Inés Escribano nos demuestra la preparación de una comida tradicional que se llama totoposte de frijol negro y Doña Felipa Toto nos cuenta sobre sus sabidurías como partera de mujeres embarazadas en la comunidad. También nos demuestra una tallada de la matriz. Las jóvenes intentan un remedio hecho por la hoja de la maravillosa y comparten sus experiencias como mujeres en la comunidad y sus preocupaciones por recursos de agua y el futuro ambiental.