The “Mi Voz, Nuestra Historia” (My Voice, Our Story) project demonstrates how digital storytelling and popular education principles can be used as a tool to balance traditionally one-sided narratives. Comprised of educator Sarah Cohen and filmmaker Leonardo Rua, this collaboration explores ways to increase mutual compassion by engaging in training and conversation with educators around the role of the teacher as listener, facilitator, and cultivator of peace.
Sarah Cohen is an educator and Chicago native who has taught Special Education, Spanish, and English in New York City, Chicago, and Bogotá, Colombia, to students at the middle school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Sarah became interested in teacher capacity-building as a Fulbright grant recipient to Colombia in 2015-2016, where she taught future bilingual educators, before returning to Chicago to coach new teachers in Chicago Public Schools. In May 2017, she attended a conference on inclusive education for U.S. Department of State alumni and received a grant to devise a short film that would explore how three Afro-Colombian community leaders crossed paths as community activists in Cali, Colombia.
For this grant project, Sarah collaborated with Leonardo Rua, a filmmaker from Bogotá, Colombia whose audiovisual pieces double as pedagogical tools. He has worked with numerous organizations that make up the Movimiento Social Afrocolombiano (Afro-Colombian Social Movement) and has depicted the immense cultural diversity of Afro-descendant cultures in Colombia. Most recently, he completed a Masters in Film and Media in Madrid, Spain.
In Residency at SFAI, Leonardo and Sarah look forward to drawing from their collective expertise to create a decolonized education experience.