Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video Learning about CRED, part of Creating Video for a Non-Profit.
- In this course, we'll be making a video with several members of the Chicago CRED organization, to promote the central mission of this Chicago based non-profit. Making a video that sells a challenging idea to a target audience, can be difficult work, but I hope as you learn more about this, you'll agree that it's a very worthwhile cause, and something that we can have a lot of fun with in creating an engaging video. So here, let me just briefly re-hash the CRED mission.
And later, we'll have the opportunity to meet the men who we'll be working with to create this video. So, CRED, which again, stands for Create Real Economic Destiny, was founded by Arne Duncan, the former U.S. Education Secretary, and former CEO of Chicago Public Schools. When he returned to his hometown of Chicago, he wanted to really dedicate himself to helping solve the city's rampant gun violence problem. - I just started talking to lots of people. I talked to guys on street corners.
I talked to political leaders. I'd go to Cook County Jail. I'd go to the juvenile detention facility. And just trying to get my fingers, I was trying to see if I could get the pulse of what was happening. No one was making any money on the streets. And guys were tired, they were scared, they were tired of getting shot at. And I always say, whenever there's a crisis, there's also a real opportunity. And the opportunity here was, no one was getting rich, people were tired of the street life, and they wanted to get out. I just sort of started to ask guys, "If we were able to get you a job, "if we were able to hire you, what would we "have to pay you to get you out of the street life?" And it was just stunning, but I just heard it, time, after time, after time, it was like, 11 dollars, 12 dollars, 13 dollars an hour.
It was peanuts, it was nothing. For a small, small amount of money, for a small investment, they were willing to put down the guns, and do something else. - So, as you can see, much of the answer really ended up being, largely an economic one. Too many of these men were trapped within the violent, illegal economy, not able to transition to viable jobs in the legal economy. When he learned that, Arne thought that really, this was a solvable problem in many ways. So, along with a talented and committed team, he started working to find the right men, and the right businesses, and begin the CRED mission.
Chicago CRED targets men identified as being the highest risk of being shooters or being shot. Using street level recruitment efforts, participants are placed in cohorts of approximately 30 men. All are paid a minimum wage, with the opportunity to earn more, based on performance. Over a several month period, they receive training in the soft and hard skills needed to be effective employees, supervised transitional jobs, working in areas such as interior home demolition, conservation, and city beautification, and a menu of other support services, including cognitive behavioral therapy, to manage conflict and emotion, as well as counseling, tutoring to attain a GED or high school diploma, substance abuse counseling, legal counseling, and help to secure stable housing.
Okay, so hopefully, you're getting a sense that this is not just a jobs program, but much more. Curtis Toler is an administrator within the CRED program, and he had more to say about its benefits. - Well, I think one of the most important things that we do, is that we take it from an individualized approach, because we know that people change at different times in their lives, and one thing that we want them to know is that regardless of when that change process happens, that we will be there for you. The first part is to really change their mindset, right, because a lot of this behavior is generational behavior.
And there's one thing that we do know for sure, is that we don't believe that no one comes out of the womb violent. We believe that behavior is learned. And knowing that behavior is learned, we believe that a lot of that behavior can be unlearned. So, that's some of the things that we have to work on first. - The more I learned about CRED, the more I wanted to explore it. And it was then that I got the idea to work directly with the CRED cohort members, to make a video. Now, this video should tell their stories, and also tout the benefits of the CRED organization.
So, I presented this film making idea to the entire cohort, and invited them all to apply for the project. Quite a few applied, and we ultimately chose one film maker to collaborate closely with, with several others to help him out with the project in various ways. Devon Etheridge is our primary collaborator. So, let's get to know him.
- Video fundamentals
- Understanding the video workflow
- Pre-production basics: planning, script writing, and scheduling
- Production basics: shooting, lighting, and sound
- Post-production basics: organization, editing, and refining
- Delivering the project