Shelbyville Multimedia

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Adapted from the film Welcome to Shelbyville
directed and produced by Kim A. Snyder

When Facing Challenges, Pastor Stephen Looks for Opportunities

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Ever since the filming of Welcome to Shelbyville, Pastor Stephen has been in touch with like-minded folks in the surrounding area about these issues. “Within an hour of Shelbyville there are various counties that are dealing with similar issues,” he explained.  Pastor Kent Lewis of Christ Lutheran Church in Shelbyville partnered with the local Episcopal priest and Church to produce a series of workshops for Lent that created an opportunity for the community to learn about Islam. He has used Welcome to Shelbyville in large conference settings with success so he and Pastor Stephen have discussed getting youth groups from both of their churches together to see it.

The resistance to open dialogue is one of Pastor Stephen’s biggest challenges. “There is a lot of misunderstanding that leads to anger,” he explained, and a lot of the time we make a boogey man out of those who are different and strike out in fear and anger instead of getting to know and listen to understand who they are.” He would really like to see more open discussion about these issues. “Most of the time, those that disagree keep it to themselves and then I hear about it second or third hand. That makes it hard to engage.”

Pastor Stephen expressed his support for Shelbyville Multimedia. “It’s great. It’s informative. It’s easy to navigate. This whole thing has really been a fascinating process,” he said. “I’m just the face of people behind the scenes who are doing a lot to be welcoming to immigrants and refugees and they deserve a lot of credit.” We wish Pastor Stephen well in his efforts to keep conversations going in Shelbyville. Every small step counts!

Miguel’s Son Joins the Army

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Spring brought a whole lot of change for Miguel and his family. His son Jaime, who joined the Army in October, was just shipped out to Alaska where he’ll be stationed. Jaime couldn’t find a job, explained Miguel, so he decided to pursue a career in the Army and is happy they will also help him to get his master’s degree. “I know he’s smart,” explained Miguel, “and I want him to come back one day.”

March 20th marked the 1-year anniversary for Miguel’s small business. It was also the first week that he was voluntarily laid off from General Motors. “I did this so that others who need the work can work and I can dedicate more time to the store.” Business has been slow lately due to the lack of jobs and spending ability of residents and this is particularly true with the Latino community. Miguel is hopeful though. “Like anything else that you start, you develop more strength when you have a little bit of hard times.” So Miguel is working hard to make the business grow and expects things will pick up soon as the wedding season and other holidays approach.

Reflecting upon the Shelbyville Multimedia website, Miguel explains: “I have been working at GM for 32 years and surrounded by people from all over the world. I see the way we work together and I think, ‘look at these results.’ We build one car every minute and we put our minds together to do it. These cars on the street, they are all of us and it matters to me that we do it right because I don’t want any accidents. So we need to work together. If we as a society work the same way, we can be a better society.” In November Miguel will officially retire, after 34 years of service with GM.

Ms. Beverly Volunteers to Support Families in Shelbyville

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Recently, Miss Beverly wrote on Shelbyville Multimedia’s Facebook wall: “Sade sung about a Somalian woman many years ago. It is in my spirit, I could have been a Somalian woman… please make a difference in someone’s life.” And despite her personal challenges, Miss Beverly is staying true to her message. While she continues to look for work, she has been putting in volunteer hours with Miss Luci to help support families in the community that are dealing with addiction. “I just want to make a difference,” she explained, “and strengthen my community wherever there’s a need.”

When asked about her involvement in Welcome to Shelbyville, Miss Beverly explained: “In a small town you get whopped when people don’t understand what is going on. I believe my steps were ordered when I met Kim [Snyder, producer and director of Welcome to Shelbyville].”

Screenings Around the Country Celebrate Refugees

Friday, July 1st, 2011

While many people are a-buzz about connecting through social media, in-person events still build community in profound ways. (By the way, what are you doing for the 4th of July? Consider hosting a welcoming gathering — a bbq with your neighbors!) To honor World Refugee Day on June 20th, more than 80 communities around the…

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