By Shan Yonamine, Project Assistant, Seattle University Project on Family Homelessness
Introduction – This project and my purpose
It has been over two weeks since the “Streetwise Revisited” exhibit at The Seattle Public Library has closed, and I am still finding myself thinking about the project and reflecting on my experiences. I find myself torn between wishing that it wasn’t over, and feeling so grateful that it happened that I decided to reflect on it even further.
“Streetwise Revisited” was The Seattle Public Library’s public education program focused on “Streetwise,” the 1984 documentary film, and the 30-year collection of photos by the renowned documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark. It consisted of a range of events from history talks to film screenings, and involved many important advocacy organizations that are also working to end homelessness.
Because the Seattle University Project on Family Homelessness was a community partner, I took the opportunity to attend as many of the “Streetwise Revisited” events as possible and I’m so glad that I did. The project provided me with an overwhelming amount of insight on “Streetwise” and how it can be used as a tool for advocacy. I heard the perspectives of many individuals who either had a role in the original film or who are working today to advocate for people who are experiencing homelessness. More importantly, I realized that, as advocates, we are all powerfully connected by our cause.