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Criminalizing Our Comunidades

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Maribel Valdez Hermosillo is a graduating senior at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Studying history, she focused on the experience of Mexican Americans in the Southwest, Latino America and the intersectionality of race, class and gender in various social issues. Her research interest included how colonization changed the perception of masculinity within
communities of color. She is a product of her community in San Anto, Tejas. She is a queer xicana, Mexic-amerindian, Tejana,
Xicanista, Writer and scholar. She is a community organizer
and activista for queer, wombyn, migrants and people of color. She spends her time working with the community on various projects focused on creating safe spaces and jamming with local musicians in the collective SonAntoSonAndo.

I am working on a long term project to help relieve the high incarceration rate in San Antonio, TX.

I am developing a film highlighting the experiences of those who are impacted by the prison industrial complex and privatization of prisons in Tejas.The documentary will focus on telling the story of those who are impacted by criminalization of communities of color. The voice of children and families will be vital to the mission of the film which will be story telling in an inclusive bottom-up approach. The voice of the currently and formerly incarcerated will highlight the experience of being in the school to prison pipeline in a city where the incarceration rate is incredibly high. As the filmmaker, I am dedicated to creating awareness through documentary filmmaking the high
incarceration rate in San Antonio, the culture of prison industrial
complex within communities of color and the impact on families.

I am working with the population that is impacted by the prison
industrial complex and privatization of prisons. Specifically,
communities of color and low-income are targeted as represented by the high incarceration rate of San Antonio, Texas. Most of the crimes committed are petty non-violent crimes. Judges refuse to offer personal bonds to those who are charged with misdemeanors, detention centers become filled with people and it is too expensive for people to
legitimately re-enter society. Looking at this from a socioeconomic point of view, we can see the system is meant to fail if you're born into a working class background.  If Texas were a country, it would have the highest incarceration rate in the world with over 700,000 behind bars. The incarceration rate for black communities in Texas is at 63% higher than the national average. 1 in 3 black men are in Jail in Texas.
 More than half of those who return to their communities will return to prison within three years.

The questions I will be answering include, "How does the system make it difficult for working class men and women of color to successfully re-integrate into society?"
 and "What is the reality for communities of color in a society where prisons are for profit and prisons dictate how many beds are needed based on third grade reading capabilities in school?"

I am asking for $1,300 to pay for:
Canon- EOS Rebel T3i 18 Megapixel DSLR Camera with 18-55 mm lens
Tripod and Camera Case
Administrative costs that will cover travel, memory cards, batteries ETC

I have already received $620 from Young People For and it's networks!
If you have suggestions for grants or fund opportunities, please email [email redacted]!

Fortunately, I have access to software that will help me edit the film for it's completion. Additionally, I am requesting grants from various organizations such as Young People For and others to fund my project. Please help with what you can! $1, $50, $100 will help tremendously.
Thank you for all of your support. I want to thank all of my mentors for helping me put my ideas into action and gente who will decide to share their experience with San Anto to give awareness to an issue that impacts all of us and our families.


Maribel Hermosillo
San Antonio, TX

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