[Reppin' HYPE with Bologna Fungi Film Crew after filming the commercial]
I had so many mixed feelings about the making of this commercial--perhaps I wasn't sure if I wanted to put it out there so bluntly, but after much thought I knew there was no other way around the truth!
I had initially conceptualized the idea for the script with my cousin Richard Wolfgramm after a conversation I had with the Bologna Fungi Film Crew about a commercial that would discuss the current statistics in our Pacific Islander community.
It is always difficult for me to see the statistics of what is happening with our young people, to others it may just be numbers, but to me, those numbers represent a face, a name, a relative--it's never just some random number!
I kept writing and rewriting the script literally until the morning of the commercial shoot. My intention was to help our community understand that the current trends of where we are heading is dreadful and unacceptable and that if we don't take a stand TODAY our Pacific Islander young people will continue to suffer!
It was difficult even in the filming of the commercial to hear our young ones say their lines because it made things so real, so concrete, so immediate! One of the hardest and saddest things for me as an educator is to come across young people who have accepted this craziness as their destiny and see no hope and no kind of future for themselves!
This commercial is representative of what is happening to the majority of our young people ages 15-17! I wish I could say that this commercial was just a random script I wrote to get an emotional response from people, but unfortunately this commercial is reflective of the lived reality of many young people.
Many have asked me why do I spend so much time engaged in this type of work-- and my response has always been the same "how can I not?" How can we not use whatever talents and resources we have to ensure a brighter future for our young people and our communities?
It starts with MAKING A CHOICE!!! I HOPE TODAY, YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE THE H.Y.P.E.!!!
LET'S MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!
GET ON THE HYPE!!!
Much love and gratitude to the Bologna Fungi Film Crew for bringing this script to life in a way that only they could!!!