I created this video in 2011 for a class project at the University of Washington's School of Social Work, where I was a graduate student from 2011-2013. At that time I was also working at a drop-in center for homeless adults in the heart of Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA.
While Pioneer Square is a culturally diverse and socially dynamic downtown neighborhood known for its art galleries, nightlife, and restaurants, it is also known by locals as Seattle's "service ghetto". More social services exist in Pioneer Square than any other area of Seattle.
This video is an attempt to shed light on some of the environmental justice issues facing Pioneer Square's street population. Rather than consult the "experts" often cited in newspapers, journals, and on television, I chose to conduct improvised street interviews with those whom I deem the "real experts" -- the people on the ground.
I was deeply inspired, informed, and humbled by the half-dozen interviews I conducted. (Two of those interviews are featured in this video.) Through this project I developed several significant relationships with the interviewees who contributed to this video. I can only hope that I have given at least half the inspiration and wisdom as I have received.
Despite the elementary quality of this video and the limitations of the video-maker, I hope the interviewees' dignity, authenticity, and depth of civic engagement is not lost.