Rebecca S. Katz is a filmmaker and activist for compassion. She was raised in Canton, MA, and graduated from Tufts University in 2007, where she majored in English and Film Studies. She spent three years in New York City working for Shine Global, a non-profit film production company dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of children worldwide through documentary films that raise awareness and effect political change.
At Shine, Rebecca was the Associate Producer on “War Dance Returns,” the short follow up documentary to Shine Global’s 2007 Academy Award-nominated film, “War Dance,” which aired on the Sundance Channel in May 2009. She’s the Associate Producer for Shine’s second feature documentary, “The Harvest,” which Eva Longoria Parker is executive producing.
Rebecca now resides in Los Angeles and is attending the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC, where she expects to receive her MFA in 2012.
Rebecca's independent project is her website, The I Want the World to Know Initiative (http://www.IWantTheWorldToKnow.org):
The I Want the World to Know Initiative encourages lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) individuals from all walks of life to share their coming out stories as a way to defeat homophobia, anti-gay bullying, and teen violence and suicide.
This initiative is inspired by two young boys–Carl Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera, both 11-years-old–who took their own lives in April 2009 as a result of constant bullying and name-calling. Their bullies used the words, “gay” and “fag,” to make both boys feel ostracized, excluded, and humiliated. Regardless of their sexualities, the world needs to know that using homophobic harassment has to stop now.
1) Reach youth and young adults who are struggling with their sexualities and who believe their feelings are wrong or bad. The idea is to create a place where LGBTQ people can share their stories in order to inspire others to discover their true potentials as human beings.
2) Have an international impact by reaching well-known out media personalities. With the help of a strong LGBTQ network, this initiative will take flight and garner the attention from the youth who need it most.
3) Stop the hatred and homophobia that exists today. By sharing stories, people relate to one another. It is how we come to understand and sympathize with people who we may not have connected with before. If everyone takes the time to listen, then perhaps we can all begin to acknowledge the beauty in being different.
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