Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Global & Multicultural

Turning Struggle Into Opportunity Film Screening & Panel Discussion on 2/20

Melissa Denizard ’20 is a Glavin Global Fellow who created a docuseries entitled “How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Without Clean Water”
about the Flint Water Crisis… 

Turning Struggle Into Opportunity Film Screening & Panel Discussion
Wednesday, February 20th 5-7 PM in Winn Auditorium
Register HERE

“Flint, Michigan has gone without clean water for over four years. During that time, I have followed the story of Flint from afar, but the resilience and advocacy of its residents has continued to resonate with me. The key purpose of this docuseries, “How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Without Clean Water”, is to look at how and why an American city with a primarily poor Black population (57%) was thrust into this environmental and human rights disaster; I used race and wealth as key aspects of my analysis to show how these two identities potentially impacted the urgency of how the country’s federal and state governments reacted to the Flint Water Crisis. I visited Flint to highlight these racial and economic discrepancies so that I could help draw a clear image of what a lack of privilege and wealth looks like in contemporary America. Other than the great conversation this film will ignite about wealth inequity in the United States, my time in Flint reminded me of my passion for social entrepreneurship and storytelling. As I spoke more with Flint’s residents, it became clear that if we, as marginalized people, never tell our stories, our histories will be morphed and recreated until we no longer recognize them; these struggles are weaved into a globalized fabric and it’s imperative that we continue to sew those narratives into the seams. As a storyteller and activist, it is my responsibility to cherish and appreciate the truths of the people I continue to encounter. My mission should never be to sell a narrative; instead, my goal, with every project that I work on, is to break down the complex and systemic societal structures into pieces that are digestible; to supplement real experiences and narratives with fact. And if I cannot do that without compromising the story, then I probably shouldn’t be telling it.” – Melissa Denizard