Thursday, April 24, 2008

Final Project Update - Change of Concept

After my visit to the L.A.N.D. offices on Monday, April 14th, I decided (specifically influenced by advice from Toni) that my previous final project (commemorating the Peace Walk of 1994) may have not been the best choice, for several reasons.

From a practical standpoint, it would be tremendously difficult to locate residents who were around at that time and remember the walk and its effects, so most of my content would be from the media's point of view. I would prefer to focus on a more grassroots issue.

Secondly, Toni advised that my project should focus on a more positive issue. The peace walk was motivated by recent acts of drugs and violence.

So, after searching through L.A.N.D.'s document binders for hours, I found something of particular interest to me. Beginning in 2002, L.A.N.D. had a child organization named P.A.L., Parents against Lead. Lead poisoning is and was a very important issue affecting Milwaukee and there was even a large lawsuit filed by the City of Milwaukee against several major paint producers that eventually even L.A.N.D. itself was drawn into.

Katina Coleman, a former employee of LAND was a community liaison for this particular issue. She went door to door, sent out letters, and organized groups to promote awareness of the issue. She encouraged families to get their young children tested for lead, and in cases where high levels were detected, she visited the houses and tested problem areas (windows, stairways) for lead levels.

There is a wealth of information about this topic. I am hoping to get three brief video statements - one from Katina Coleman, one from the City about the Lead Abatement program, and ideally one from some of the residents whose children were affected by lead poisoning.

Regardless, I can't wait to get some footage together!

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