KD Hall – local educator, filmmaker and full-time mom – has captured a historic moment, using experiential internship to create a documentary on sickle cell anemia and racial justice during a pandemic.
The educator, who teaches in the University of Washington’s Communication Leadership, owns a business, runs a foundation and raises two children, decided to leverage her education-focused internship program (The KD Hall Foundation College Ambassador Program) and create a film that would provide an experiential approach to education.
The end result is, “A Time for Vigilance,” a documentary about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sickle cell anemia and racial injustice:
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With the pandemic ravaging the nation and social justice issues roiling throughout 2020, the film provides a prescient look at a turbulent year in the United States, as the 15-minute film explores how those injustices play out in healthcare, the justice system, education and police brutality.
Given the restrictions created by the pandemic, the film – like this year’s College Ambassador Program – was created entirely through virtual conversations. And, each of the interns who worked on the project was paid $18 per hour throughout the summer to work on the film.
“We put incredible work and effort into running our program 100 percent virtual in 2020 and couldn’t be more excited about producing a great film, despite historic constraints,” KD Hall said.
The film focuses on Seattle resident Denise Bazemore, who grew up with sickle cell and faced a lonely existence with almost no treatment options. After being diagnosed with COVID-19, she was forced to navigate this new illness with her pre-existing condition. She faced both with bravery and hope, and sees a better future for the next generation of sickle cell patients, particularly for people of color who already face obstacles in their daily lives.
The film, which features interviews with Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu, former Governor Gary Locke and Carmen Best, Seattle’s former Chief of Police, brings a message of hope for 2021: Reform is coming.
In the words of Bazemore, the goal is to see younger people who face challenges, whether of physical health, racial injustice, or both – “being able to run and jump. I want her to experience a normal life.”
KD Hall Foundation is grateful for the sponsors who made this film possible: Swedish Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Kent Chamber of Commerce, as well as Chris and Olivia Bloomquist and Andrea Thomas. Thanks to their donations, The KD Hall Foundation’s college ambassadors were able to go through work on this film. For six years, The KD Hall Foundation has been guiding women through their collegiate careers and real-world experiences.
And, while making “A Time for Vigilance” created unprecedented challenges for The KD Hall Foundation’s college ambassadors, it provided college students the opportunity to focus on documenting history in real time, showcasing a chaotic world with hope for the future.
About KD Hall Foundation
KD Hall Foundation is a non-profit organization in Seattle that provides opportunities to women and girls for economic advancement, as well as personal and professional development. Since its inception, KD Hall Foundation has been extremely impactful across the corporate and private sectors and the community as a large. The foundation is committed to providing resources, scholarships, mentorships, and workshops that focus on encouraging, inspiring and propelling the communities they serve. KD Hall Foundation is about the growth and evolution for women, girls, and male allies in their community.
For more information, please visit www.kdhallfoundation.org.