Keynote presented by Canon Explorer of Light and Pulitzer Prize-winning Photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair
Melville, N.Y. – Creighton University in Omaha, NE and the Enterprise Managed Services Division (EMSD) of Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., welcomed students, faculty, and special guest, Stephanie Sinclair, to the October 23 premiere of a documentary film, The Displaced, created by students of the University's Backpack Journalism program. This summer, the group traveled to the border of South Sudan and Uganda on a five-week mission to produce The Displaced. The documentary film focuses on the area's nearly 1.5 million refugees, who have fled war and violence, in hopes of increasing awareness and inspiring change. Canon Solutions America was proud to support Creighton University, a Canon Solutions America customer, on the program.
Stephanie Sinclair speaks to Backpack Journalism students
The film premiere was the culmination of the school's biannual, immersive experience, during which students and faculty in the program visit communities often inaccessible by larger news media. Through written and visual storytelling, they are able to bring to light human rights and other challenges their subjects are facing. The event featured a presentation, "Advocacy through Visual Storytelling", by Stephanie Sinclair, a world-renowned, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist known for documenting gender and human rights issues throughout the world. Her work has been featured in National Geographic and The New York Times Magazine, among others. Ms. Sinclair is also a member of Canon's Explorers of Light program, where she shares her experience and expertise with the broader photographic community alongside some of the most influential photographers in the world.
The students all reported that this was a life-changing experience for them, expressing deep admiration for the refugees they were privileged to film. When asked about the young women interviewed in the film, Isabelle Senechal, lead story designer for the film and senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, responded, "They lit up the camera. I really expect those girls to change the world someday."
"Our mission at Creighton University is to teach and encourage our students to become leaders through service to others," said John O'Keefe, PhD, Professor of Historical Theology and Environmental Theology, Creighton University. "Our Backpack Journalism program provides the opportunity for students to gain real life experience, interacting with and offering help and support to the people behind the stories they tell."
"We are honored to have been a part of such an important project," said Valerie Belli, vice president, EMSD, Canon Solutions America. "By shedding light on human rights issues in Uganda and elsewhere, the students and teachers of Creighton University are helping to make a real difference in the world."
Creighton University's Backpack Journalism team shot The Displaced using Canon equipment, and will begin sharing the documentary film with film festival audiences, as well as produce a behind-the-scenes recap featuring members of the Backpack Journalism program and Stephanie Sinclair. In addition, Canon Solutions America will be providing large format printing services to capture the essence of the documentary through still images for display at the University.