View Full Version : DCTV Kickstarts National Anti-gun-violence Campaign With New Organizer

11-19-2008, 8:45 AM
Arggh!!!!! This is so irresponsible. Sponsored Prejudice.


DCTV Kickstarts National Anti-gun-violence Campaign With New Organizer
Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Artist, actor, activist Stephanie Skaff takes the stage

New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/18/2008 -- Continuing its commitment to outreach and education, Downtown Community Television Center is pleased to announce the hiring of Stephanie Skaff, artistic activist and organizer, to begin community outreach and planning of a national anti-gun violence media campaign made possible with generous support from the Ford Foundation. Following the success of its past media tours, DCTV’s renowned Cybercar, a 40-foot-long bus converted into a mobile TV studio, is preparing for a Fall 2009 20-city tour to promote community-driven initiatives to end gun violence.

Downtown Community Television Center is New York City’s premier Center for Independent Media Arts and a producer of award-winning documentaries. For over 35 years, DCTV has expanded public access to the media to invigorate our democracy; it assists thousands of aspiring filmmakers in all aspects of media production, offering affordable classes and workshops to media artists, free training to underserved youth, screenings of new material, low-cost equipment rentals and post-production facilities and a full-service television studio.

Stephanie Skaff is a Brooklyn-based artist, arts manager and fundraiser. Originally from Ohio, she has spent the past seven years in NYC creating community-based, issue-inspired art projects and serving a number of arts initiatives with social justice concerns. Stephanie developed an interest in arts for social change through the international humanitarian theatre company, Bond Street Theatre. There, she helped research, coordinate and secure funding for their collaboration with Afghan Exile Theatre, a theatre company of Afghan refugees exiled from Afghanistan by the Taliban. Her work with Bond Street Theatre earned her a 2003 Theatre Apprenticeship Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA.

With a résumé as impressive as it is diverse, featuring such prestigious organizations as Rooftop Films, Smack Mellon, Aperture Foundation, Rhizome Communications, J Mandle Performance, The Equus Projects and endeavors such as acting with Only Make Believe, an organization that brings interactive theatre to hospitalized children throughout NYC, and a performance project documenting and exploring the lives of street vendors, DCTV is proud to welcome her aboard to coordinate preparations to take its ongoing anti-gun violence campaign to the national level.

“I’m honored to be a part of this project; I consider it both an outreach campaign and a public media art project,” said Skaff, “it combines so many of my interests: economic justice, arts for social change, and urban planning while engaging me in issues and tactics that are new and challenging. Now is the ideal time for this project; there’s both a greater awareness of politics among low-income communities thanks to President-Elect Barack Obama’s historic campaign and an impending recession that could easily lead to an increase in violence on our streets. It’s imperative to reach communities already plagued by gun violence to provide alternatives before things get worse, and to reach those that might tip toward violence as their economic opportunities disappear.”

The Cybercar was created in 2002 by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that converted the passenger bus, which formerly carried missionaries around the South, into the cutting edge mobile broadcast studio it is today. It features state-of-the-art equipment including a large Times-Square-style video display on the side. The Cybercar made its maiden voyage in 2002 with the Main Street USA tour, where it toured twelve main streets from cities across the country. Through town meetings, Main Street USA showed tapes DCTV recorded at Ground Zero, in Afghanistan and Iraq and recorded the responses. It was followed by the Emmy, Telly and Aurora Award-winning Speak Up NY!, a project encouraging youth involvement in politics that registered over 2,000 new voters, and The Russians are Coming, part of an international journalist exchange to promote cross-cultural exploration. One of its latest expeditions was a 2006 continuation of DCTV’s anti-gun violence campaign, where it took filmmaker and activist Terrence Fisher (Bullets in the Hood) across New York and Hartford, CT, to reach out to youth communities effected by gun violence in schools, libraries and other gathering places.

DCTV’s new 2009 national tour intends to raise awareness of gun violence, promote anti-violence initiatives by reaching out to at-risk communities through various channels: town meetings, schools, youth events, the Internet, meetings with community leaders and policy-makers and more. By establishing a national support network and forging relationships between the organizations that already exist, the tour can enable a grassroots movement against gun violence and provide every community the essential tools to combat violence, tailored for the specific needs of each.

Over the next few months, Skaff will be researching the individual communities and the issues they are facing, discovering personal stories, pinpointing how each city can utilize the capabilities of the Cybercar, developing specific anti-gun violence action plans, designing a website to connect local initiatives and provide a forum for youth effected by gun violence, making contact with community leaders and organizations and proposing a final schedule and activities for the tour. The Cybercar’s mission is to sow the seeds of democracy by providing an interactive medium for education, communication and empowerment, and Skaff knows its importance and its promise.

“More young people are being killed on the streets of Brooklyn than in Baghdad,” said Jon Alpert, co-founder and director of DCTV, “With the support of the Ford Foundation, we are going to work to get Americans to pick up cameras instead of guns and to stop the bloodshed. This will be a nationwide effort, featuring teen filmmakers, community organizers, mothers, fathers and DCTV’s traveling Cybercar theater, led by Stephanie Skaff. There is no time to waste.”

DCTV is the most honored independent nonprofit media center in the nation. DCTV’s productions reach over 100 million viewers each year and have received fifteen National Emmys, two Student Emmys, two DuPont-Columbia Awards, a Peabody, and every other major prize in the broadcast field. DCTV consistently produces some of the best and most important documentaries about issues in America and around the world. For over thirty years, DCTV offers unique programs for underserved youth, community programs, affordable workshops in digital media, production facilities, and equipment rentals. For more information, visit http://www.dctvny.org.

DCTV, 87 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013
Media Relations Contact

Jesse Garrison Email Contact
Communications and Community Relations Officer
Downtown Community Television Center
212-966-4510 x257

11-19-2008, 8:50 AM
Sure this isn't sponsored by Obama?

11-21-2008, 5:11 AM
Dear aileron—

Why do you consider this project "irresponsible" and "sponsored prejudice"?

And tyrist, this project proposes nothing about "banning guns." It's about getting people to not use guns to shoot people. What's wrong with that?


11-21-2008, 6:34 AM
“More young people are being killed on the streets of Brooklyn than in Baghdad,”


11-21-2008, 6:55 AM
What this world needs is an actor.

11-21-2008, 8:38 AM
Dear aileron—

Why do you consider this project "irresponsible" and "sponsored prejudice"?

And tyrist, this project proposes nothing about "banning guns." It's about getting people to not use guns to shoot people. What's wrong with that?


the problem is that the anti-gun people use "stop the gun violence" to ban guns and further their agenda. Now if they stated that they were gonna start issuing CCW's to curb gun violence then I would support it.

11-21-2008, 8:54 AM
the problem is that the anti-gun people use "stop the gun violence" to ban guns and further their agenda. Now if they stated that they were gonna start issuing CCW's to curb gun violence then I would support it.

Yes, but the logic of that makes their heads explode. They just can't grok that more guns in responsible, law abiding citizen's hands means less violent crime. So when they say "stop the gun violence" what they mean is "ban all the guns."

Doesn't matter what the statistics or counter-arguments are, either. That's just flat-out how they see reality and nothing is going to change that.

11-21-2008, 9:07 AM
Dear aileron—

Why do you consider this project "irresponsible" and "sponsored prejudice"?

And tyrist, this project proposes nothing about "banning guns." It's about getting people to not use guns to shoot people. What's wrong with that?


Aren't you familiar with how these people usually work? I think history would show activities like those advertised are about 99% against privately owned guns. Nice first post btw - jump right in there.

11-21-2008, 4:57 PM
Ok, you are right..i didnt read anything about gun control or banning guns in that article either....so, below is the email I sent to them to get a better idea of what they are about...if and when they reply, ill post it here


sent today -

Hello Stephanie and staff at DCTV!

My friends, associates and I recently became aware of your campaign against gun violence. We are against gun violence as well, but before we lend our support, we have some very important and honest questions for you.

Is your interest truly to reduce gun violence or to ban guns for those that pose no threat to society?

Do you feel that individuals have the right and obligation to protect themselves and their families from those that would do them harm?

Do you feel that the Police are capable of protecting us from harm, even though they are understaffed and the courts have said that the Police are not obligated to protect us?

Did you know that Washington DC, that had a virtual gun ban until recently, has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country?

How would a gun ban advocate explain how the gun violence is higher in areas that are more gun restrictive other then the fact that criminals do not follow the law and regular citizens that do become easier victims?

Will you report the honest facts from honest sources, on what is needed to reduce gun violence, even if these facts do not go along with the usual liberal point of view?

If you do honestly report the facts, what will you do when the anti gun powers tht be try to censor you?

Are you aware that it is now a proven fact that firearms in the correct hands reduce gun crime?

Do you have any knowledge, training or experience with firearms?

If not, would you be willing to view things from the other side of the fence before promoting your views by attending a free training course?

Do you feel that making something illegal stops those that are inclined to break the law anyway?

We have more questions, but will wait for your reply. Thank you for your time.


11-21-2008, 5:29 PM
Dear aileron—

Why do you consider this project "irresponsible" and "sponsored prejudice"?

And tyrist, this project proposes nothing about "banning guns." It's about getting people to not use guns to shoot people. What's wrong with that?


I don't need to say anything to prove it other than to quote the author.

"developing specific anti-gun violence action plans"

This whole movement begins in the bowels of prejudice. The anti-gun movement is nothing more than prejudice against guns and gun owners. If it was not then reason would prevail and guns would not be the source of their focus. Than we could look to what the source of the problems are, which is difficult and not easy to resolve. Once we had honest discourse along those lines we could take steps to curb violence and see IF we could make a difference.

I would start with the drug war myself.

11-21-2008, 6:22 PM
“More young people are being killed on the streets of Brooklyn than in Baghdad,”


1. wrong!!!
2. if it was true they just lost their argument of us losing the war!

11-22-2008, 12:14 AM
and an impending recession that could easily lead to an increase in violence on our streets.

So, what we want to do is disarm the legal gun owners as quickly as possible so nobody gets hurt.:rolleyes:

11-26-2008, 12:11 AM
And here is the response I got From them.....

Dear JD:

I appreciate your interest in DCTV's national anti gun violence media
campaign. You¹ve asked very good questions. I hope the following will
address some of your concerns.

First, I would like to clarify the message of our campaign. DCTV is in the
planning stages of a campaign to use media to show the devastating effects
of gun violence, especially in our nation¹s marginalized communities. We
have no legislative power or agenda. Rather, we intend to use media to
promote local solutions to gun violence in each of the twenty cities we¹ll
visit in order to provide alternatives for young people in these

DCTV will be spending the next six months visiting communities throughout
the country, and listening to law enforcement, elected and school officials,
families of gun violence victims, local media, and activists about their
experiences with gun violence. We are also engaged in intensive research on
the cause and the effect of gun violence throughout the country. We
look forward to hearing a range of opinions about how to combat gun violence
in all of the communities we visit.

We understand that the question of gun violence elicits strong emotions from
all sectors of U.S. Society. In planning our 2009 media campaign we intend
to thoroughly investigate all of the legal, emotional, and community issues
and questions surrounding gun violence and to truly reflect the opinions of
all responsible stakeholders.

Thank you for getting in touch with us. We appreciate your questions and
your interest. It is possible we will get in touch with you at a later date
as part of our ongoing research and planning.

All the best,
Stephanie Skaff

So, next post is my email back to Stephanie Skaff....

11-26-2008, 12:11 AM
Thank you, Mrs Skaff, for taking the time to respond my email. I really do hope you contact me at a later date for additional input.

I would have prefered to have more definitive answers to my questions, but this is a good start.

You are absolutely correct that this can be an emotional issue, especially for victims of gun violence. But please remember that emotional thinking is rarely accurate and that in the end, logic must prevail if you truly wish to address ways to really curb gun violence.

Just like tons of cocaine makes it into this country regularly, banning firearms will not curb the flow of them into the wrong hands. Almost every country in the world manufacturs some sort of firearm and the prohibition of any thing that there is a demand for creates a black market for it.

As part of your study, take a long look at the increase in violent crime in England and Australia as a direct result of these types of bans. Then ask yourself, how does taking away a persons right to protect themslelves with the same amount of force that the bad guy has access to going to do anything other then increase gun or other types violent crimes.

Here is testimony and an interview that you should consider...



Aere is an interesting article from a former senetor....

Signs of Intelligence?
By Fred Thompson

One of the things that's got to be going through a lot of peoples' minds now is how one man with two handguns, that he had to reload time and time again, could go from classroom to classroom on the Virginia Tech campus without being stopped. Much of the answer can be found in policies put in place by the university itself.

Virginia, like 39 other states, allows citizens with training and legal permits to carry concealed weapons. That means that Virginians regularly sit in movie theaters and eat in restaurants among armed citizens. They walk, joke, and rub shoulders everyday with people who responsibly carry firearms — and are far safer than they would be in San Francisco, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago, New York City, or Washington, D.C., where such permits are difficult or impossible to obtain.

The statistics are clear. Communities that recognize and grant Second Amendment rights to responsible adults have a significantly lower incidence of violent crime than those that do not. More to the point, incarcerated criminals tell criminologists that they consider local gun laws when they decide what sort of crime they will commit, and where they will do so.

Still, there are a lot of people who are just offended by the notion that people can carry guns around. They view everybody, or at least many of us, as potential murderers prevented only by the lack of a convenient weapon. Virginia Tech administrators overrode Virginia state law and threatened to expel or fire anybody who brings a weapon onto campus.

In recent years, however, armed Americans — not on-duty police officers — have successfully prevented a number of attempted mass murders. Evidence from Israel, where many teachers have weapons and have stopped serious terror attacks, has been documented. Supporting, though contrary, evidence from Great Britain, where strict gun controls have led to violent crime rates far higher than ours, is also common knowledge.

So Virginians asked their legislators to change the university's "concealed carry" policy to exempt people 21 years of age or older who have passed background checks and taken training classes. The university, however, lobbied against that bill, and a top administrator subsequently praised the legislature for blocking the measure.

The logic behind this attitude baffles me, but I suspect it has to do with a basic difference in worldviews. Some people think that power should exist only at the top, and everybody else should rely on "the authorities" for protection.

Despite such attitudes, average Americans have always made up the front line against crime. Through programs like Neighborhood Watch and Amber Alert, we are stopping and catching criminals daily. Normal people tackled "shoe bomber" Richard Reid as he was trying to blow up an airliner. It was a truck driver who found the D.C. snipers. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that civilians use firearms to prevent at least a half million crimes annually.

When people capable of performing acts of heroism are discouraged or denied the opportunity, our society is all the poorer. And from the selfless examples of the passengers on Flight 93 on 9/11 to Virginia Tech professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who sacrificed himself to save his students earlier this week, we know what extraordinary acts of heroism ordinary citizens are capable of.

Many other universities have been swayed by an anti-gun, anti-self defense ideology. I respect their right to hold those views, but I challenge their decision to deny Americans the right to protect themselves on their campuses — and then proudly advertise that fact to any and all.

Whenever I've seen one of those "Gun-free Zone" signs, especially outside of a school filled with our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, I've always wondered exactly who these signs are directed at. Obviously, they don't mean much to the sort of man who murdered 32 people just a few days ago.

— Fred Thompson is an actor and former United States senator from Tennessee.


I look forward to hearing from you Mrs Skaff....