Share Your Story
Sharing a story can inspire, uplift and, ultimately, encourage people to create change. That is what we hope to do with this documentary; show three amazing stories that impact viewers and inspire them to enact change. We believe in the power of story, and we know that there are many stories just as impacting as those of Francis, Brenda and Abigail. We want you to share them. Whether you have personally overcome or experienced discrimination, have a friend that has faced a similar situation, or have simply witnessed a story of discrimination that has greatly affected you, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature your story on our blog. The goal of sharing these stories is to create a dialogue and engage thought-provoking discussion about this important issue—so even if you don’t have a story, please read, comment, and engage!
I first heard about the community of women in Crossing Over over a static-y, long-distance phone call last July. I was sitting on the driveway of my mom’s house in Pittsburgh (the only spot with good reception), catching up with my best friend Isabel. We had both been having lackluster summers. I cured mine with too much reality television. She cured hers by flying to LA to photograph a group of women she had heard about through Margarita Manduley, an immigration lawyer. After probably an hour of nonsense (to be specific, she had gotten herself locked outside of her friend’s apartment and was trying to climb through a window ten feet off the ground, but that’s neither here nor there), she couldn’t hold it in any longer. “Oh my god, Pitz,” she said. “You wouldn’t believe these stories. I can hardly handle it. Their stories are unbelievable—incredible.”
Over the next several months, I watched my amazing friend Isa—singlehandedly, at first—bring the project to life. We were hanging out at my apartment, eating chocolate and ostensibly not doing homework, when the Associated Press called her and made their offer. Once she enlisted Katrina’s help, I never stopped hearing about Crossing Over. Literally. Every time I was with her, Isa would inevitably receive at least one call from Katrina, checking on schedules, making sure production was on track, calling meetings and Skype sessions—no one could ever accuse Katrina Sorrentino of not being passionate or persistent.
So by the time Isa asked me work on story development in December, I was already well informed about (and invested in) the project, an investment that grew exponentially as I continued on as Associate Producer and then joined the rest of the crew in LA. But the moment when my investment grew into an obsessive need to tell this story was when I saw Christie Miller’s emotional interview. Because I don’t speak Spanish (like, at all), I didn’t always understand everything that was happening around me. Christie’s unexpected interview was the first in English, and all of a sudden, I really, truly understood the emotional gravity of the stories that, up until that point, I had been hearing second-hand. Christie ruminated on her life, on getting older, on opportunities that pass us by, and the decisions we make. She talked about wanting to be excited about life—like you guys, she said. As cheesy as it might sound, listening to Christie talk about finally beating addiction at the age of fifty—grateful for being alive, realizing that life had passed her by, and refusing to let any more time or opportunities slip past her—made me take another look at my life. It made me grateful for being young. It made me snap out of my graduation funk and to appreciate the opportunities life has provided me. And lastly, though I was already fully committed, it helped me fully commit to helping Isa, Katrina, and everyone else see this project through and in doing so, to continue to pursue my real passions.