I just launched a crowd-funding campaign for my new project Story of America: A Nation Divided. Our goal is to raise a thousand dollars per day for 60 days.
I have great faith in the power of storytelling and dialogue. They offer opportunities to understand one another, heal wounds and create empathy.
I have seen this work powerfully during the making of 9500 Liberty, an award-winning documentary about a culture war over immigration policy in Prince William County, Virginia. I documented what happened as people began to reach across racial and political divides. In that revolutionary act of talking and listening, a polarized community came together to stand against extremism and win.
I saw it again when the Coffee Party suddenly leaped out of my computer and took over my life. It started with a Facebook page calling for a fact-based alternative to the Tea Party. People came together as fellow Americans; not as members of parties. Thousands of Coffee Party meetings have taken place since February 2010. I believe our message and actions helped shift our national narrative and prepare America for the healing process that we need now.
With this project, I want to start with something more elemental than 9500 Liberty or the Coffee Party: our personal stories.
Story of America: A Nation Divided is a documentary video series to be developed into a feature length film. I'm recruiting a team of filmmakers to travel across the country to meet many of you and amplify your voices. Our work will document the reality of America today and challenge all Americans to join a conversation that we believe will help heal the divide.
My concerns about division stem from my childhood in South Korea, a country that went through a terrible civil war 60 years ago and is still technically at war, still divided in two. When I see the vitriol and near-violent rhetoric employed in America's public discourse, I am reminded of the American Civil War, its ghosts and echoes.
I hope you join our campaign and our growing community by becoming a Founding Member, Angel Investor or a Co-Producer.
I'm determined to prove to the naysayers and cynics that we can help heal the divide and unite the country. Dialogue does not mean concession. It is not weak to share our dreams, realities and fears. We must or we will continue to hurt as a society.
Thanks, always, for your support and encouragement! I hope to meet up with you during our journey across America.
Please support Story of America with a tax deductible donation.