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Center for Community Engagement

Los Angeles: Film, Research and Engagement Promote Understanding of Youth Issues

Los Angeles

In the Arts and Letters 354: Community Impact Media course, CSU Los Angeles (CSULA) students learned the art of filmmaking and helped put a face on critical issues impacting our nation’s youth. The films, based on the lives of youth at the East Los Angles Weingart YMCA in Boyle Heights, featured topics related to public health, school dropouts and personal resilience. CSULA students researched the topics to contextualize the personal stories told to them by the YMCA youth. Through filmmaking, students became more engaged with understanding local issues and the value of research.

“The difference between doing some research on a social problem and writing a paper for your professor and making a film based on someone else's life is that you can't use any filler. Every image and every word has to mean something true about that person's life. I had to think a lot more about exactly what I wanted to say and what it means.”
—Arts and Letters 354 student

Find out more about service learning and community engagement at
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View campus service-learning projects promoting
community engagement through the arts:
Humboldt State University
Humboldt State University

Music brought together Humboldt State students and senior citizens from a local residential living center in McKinleyville, California. For two semesters, students in two string quartets participated in service-learning music courses where they were given the chance to develop their repertoire during the fall semester and perform their pieces in the spring.

CSU Northridge
CSU Northridge

Named after proposed legislation called the Media and Public Health Act, MPHA_CSUN is an interdisciplinary service-learning project to educate, engage and empower students to counteract the influence of the media's picture-perfect body “ideal” on their health and wellbeing.

CSU Sacramento
CSU Sacramento

With support from Cal Humanities, the CSU Sacramento Honors Program, in collaboration with Community Against Sexual Harm (CASH) and Take I Productions created the video “OFF-TRACK: A Behind the Scenes Look at Prostitution.” The video aims to inform and raise awareness of prostitution in the local communities of Sacramento and to inspire others to use non-judgment in providing services to victims of commercial sexual exploitation.