Is Anybody Listening?

On the News Hour last night there was a remarkable story about a high school class that made a video “Is Anybody Listening?” about how the recession is affecting their lives.

It was a class project born out of a discussion of the American Dream. Five months later, it made it into a speech given by President Obama. “it” is an eight minute video titled, “Is Anybody Listening.” It’s the first person accounts of students struggling with foreclosures, hunger and the threat of becoming homeless.

The video feels like a twenty-first century version of a Dorothea Lange portrait. One student told us his American dream is modest – to have a refrigerator full of food. The goal of making the video was to get the attention of the nation’s leaders, specifically the President. It took a few months, but just last week, the video made it to the White House and President Obama told the students in a speech he is listening and promised to fight for their right to the American Dream. Although there is no assurance the President’s promise will change the lives of these Pomona kids, they are hopeful and for now are declaring “mission accomplished.”

It’s a heartbreaking story. Watching the sadness and anxiety of these young lives gives a new dimension to the anger over greed that led to the meltdown and the AIG bonuses. Watch the News Hour (above), then watch the original video:


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