Where is that big city video outfit when you need them?

In the same week that a CHICAGO-based community organizing video documentary outfit arrived in Shelbyville, TN a homeless Ethiopian man was found sleeping in the town square.   The fellow says he is working at Tyson’s Food but can’t afford a place to sleep yet.

“Hey … hey! Are you OK?”

It was a little after 9 a.m. Monday when Shelbyville codes official David Langford roused the man from his slumber outside John Norton’s law offices on the public square.

The slender man called himself Mustoff and said he was from Ethiopia, in town to work for Tyson Foods, which was evident from the rubber boots he wore.

But Mustoff was sleeping on a piece of cardboard with nothing but the clothes on his back, a coat, pillow and part of a sleeping bag. He had no cash and no one in town he knew to call.

Homeless.  [Illegal or a refugee/asylee?]

The video crew was in town to coincidentally (!) film the Unity Meeting held last night, but it appears they didn’t cross paths with Tyson’s homeless employee (or at least these reports don’t tell us they did).

A crew from Chicago has been in Shelbyville for the past week shooting footage for a documentary focusing on the impact that immigration and refugees are having on the community.

The project is headed by director/producer Kim Snyder, who works with the BeCause Foundation [creating social change through the power of film] an organization created by Richard Kincade, the former president and chief executive officer of Equity Office Properties Trust (EOP).

“We believe in the power of story to help highlight communities and individuals tackling complex social issues right now,” Snyder said.

This reporter will also be interviewed by the crew about the Times-Gazette‘s series of stories on the influx of Somali refugees and their impact on Shelbyville.

The foundation has previously done documentaries on the homeless and its officials feel the topic of immigration and how towns like Shelbyville is grappling with it is a big issue.

“We have been told that Shelbyville was not only an interesting example but a possible way for people elsewhere in the country to learn a bit through open dialog about what is happening here and what people are really thinking and feeling about it,” Snyder said.

The film crew was at the American Legion Thursday to shoot footage of Catalina Nieto, public awareness coordinator for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Collation (TIRRC) and Abdul Farah, the social adjustment director of the Somali Community Center of Nashville, who both spoke to the Rotary Club of Shelbyville.

Shelbyville BeWare BeCause, they are using your town!   They will gloss over the tensions and problems of the Tyson’s African employees and then show what great work the TIRRC and the Somali Community Center are doing to bring you all together in harmonious unity.  This is a politically motivated campaign.  Your film, your town, will then be used to shame other towns into silence. 

All of a sudden these “change” agent/activists are everywhere you turn!  This is from BeCause’s scanty website:

The BeCause Foundation was founded in 2007* to heighten awareness about a number of complex social problems and promote change through the power of film.

The BeCause series of short documentaries highlights the groundbreaking work of pioneering individuals and organizations providing solution-based models for social change. The films and adjoining outreach campaigns are designed to raise awareness, illuminate the resilience of the human spirit, and inspire others to become involved. The series aims to break stereotypic images of victimization and “charity” and replace them with ones of empowerment, hope, and transformation.

Each film is created as the cornerstone of a larger media campaign to promote advocacy about the profiled cause and related organizations.

It is starting to feel like a horror movie where all these creepy manipulative “change” people are everywhere!

* I couldn’t find any financial information on this organization, wonder who is funding them?

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