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The Slate

HFI Combats Youth Violence Through Film!

HFI Combats Youth Violence Through Film!

The PSA Online Film Festival is now live! Watch and vote for your favorites until July 21st!

Haydenfilms Institute is proud to present their innovative youth development program, known as the Youth Media Initiative (YMI).  In 2012, HFI partnered with the Reading Youth Violence Prevention (RYVP) Project in an effort to reduce youth violence and promote positive community change. The multi-faceted program empowered youth from Reading, PA  to share their stories, create change, inspire others to action, and make a difference in their community.

HFI is featuring the Youth Media Initiative’s student PSAs in an Online Film Festival which launched May 22, 2013 over a 60 day voting period until July 21, 2013. Social media is one of the driving components that will spread the message of the YMI and draw attention to critical social issues affecting Reading, Pennsylvania and urban communities across the world. When viewing each PSA, log into Facebook and Twitter to vote and comment on your favorite!

Vote now at

Over an eight-week comprehensive educational curriculum at Kutztown University, 50 youth wrote, directed and starred in 20 PSAs for ten featured Berks County nonprofit organizations that addressed violence, substance abuse, and other social issues affecting the youth and their community. Students learned about the featured organizations and the critical social issues directly affecting their community. Subsequently, they transformed their thoughts into a social call to action through the production of passionate PSAs.

Over the next 60 days, the PSAs are featured on the HFI website as part of a PSA Online Film Festival. Through an interactive voting system, the general public will be able to view the 20 PSAs and vote on their favorites. The PSA Online Film Festival is designed to spur civic engagement and promote an open community dialogue concerning these social issues. Upon the culmination of the 60 day voting period, the top three PSA student production groups will share a $10,000 scholarship award and their PSAs will be featured at a concluding ceremony.

HFI calls on all cities across the country to institute positive community-based change. The Reading, Pa community at-large is uniting under a collaborative force to combat youth violence by spreading the message of the YMI, making a conscious effort to promote the PSA Online Film Festival through sharing the PSA Online Film Festival with all networks through email, Facebook and Twitter as well as all media and social media outlets.

The Youth Media Initiative is on the cusp of creating national impact through the PSA Online Film Festival. The next phase of spreading the initiative is on you, the viewer of the PSAs, to share the impact the Youth Media Initiative has had on a city ravaged with violence. The youth of Reading and youth across the globe depend on those with vested interests to propel the initiative forward with hopes of bringing the Youth Media Initiative to your city!

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