Published: March 1, 2010
Groundswell intern Mitch Wenkus (Columbia College Chicago, ’10) is this year’s recipient of the Studs Terkel Scholarship Award presented by The Community Media Workshop and Columbia College Chicago. The award has been given annually in honor of the late Pulitzer-Prize winning oral historian.
The winner of the $2,000 prize, selected by a board of judges from the Community Media Workshop, is given to a student with the best grassroots class project. Mitch’s short documentary film won because it best illustrates Studs Terkel’s perspective of our city—one that recognizes and celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments or visions of ordinary people. Thom Clark, Executive Director of Community Media Workshop commended Mitch and said that it was a very competitive selection because there were so many high quality nominations across all media, print, audio and video.
As a Groundswell intern, Mitch has been assisting with the production of our “What Changed” webisode series which raises questions about President Obama’s anti-war stance.
Groundswell co-founder Jeff Spitz writes:
Mitch is the kind of student that Studs Terkel would adore. He’s a real listener, a creative artist and a community builder. Mitch is a documentary artist who has learned how to give voice to others. In the case of his short doc film, Joey and Jamal: A Chicago Public School Story, the voices come from a modest African American family that is speaking truth to power. Mitch focuses on two brothers and their mom as they figure out the ways that they learn best and keep out of harms way in a school system saturated with violence. The film raises profound questions about the hopes, dreams and tactics of Chicago school kids and their parents.
Read more about the film and Mitch’s award at the Community Media Workshop.