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a documentary

by Carol L. Simpson

This is a film documentary that includes recent interviews of Buddhist Jazz Artists and their music. It will be filmed in the U.S. and other countries. Through a creative and innovative use of experimental animation, transmedia storytelling, editing and interactive design, the lives of these individuals will uncover the lived transformative processes that inspire global humanitarian activity. In the quest for peace through worldwide cultural exchange, this film demonstrates how to promote a culture of peace through the transformative power of the arts, processes with new understandings for establishing a foundation of human dignity and strengthening human solidarity. As an alternative to the overwhelming powerlessness experienced by youth (target population) in the face of a complexity of global human rights issues, this film links jazz and Buddhism’s intercultural wisdom with global diplomatic engagement to shed new understandings about the courageous potential of ordinary people to act in humanistic capacities and  agents of social change toward a more just and inclusive world.

“Ordinary Champions” is expected to impart knowledge in many vacant fields of discourse.  It will demonstrate how within an historical and cultural context characterized by a recurrent culture of discrimination, oppression and violence, common to both jazz and Buddhism, emancipatory transformative processes (for example, non-violent approaches to anger) can provide links to inform new models for social interaction. The film and component book provide broadminded, cultural insights into transformative, sustainable forms of global citizenship for this century and beyond and inspire research on pragmatic wisdom-based complements in philosophy and education, offering alternative solutions toward a future sustainable global community.

Three key issues addressed:

1. The need to promote human dignity and solidarity in global human rights issues.

2. The need to look to new tools such as those provided by the transformative power of Buddhism and jazz for gaining insights into contemporary cultural diplomacy toward the development of a culture of peace.

3. The need to inspire ordinary people to engage in global citizenship and its education.

Buddhism’s message is when we seek to cultivate the heart, coming together as human beings, we have the potential to draw unlimited strength and nobility and boundlessly develop our lives.  In “revolutionizing” our states of life, we simultaneously transform culture and thereby other human beings. Through the integral processes of life and environment, ordinary people can come together and generate powerful currents that cannot fail to change society.  This film is expected to help its audience identify and counteract the root causes of violence and to consider non-violent approaches to anger as modeled through the inspirational and exemplary lives of these ten Buddhist, jazz artists who are actively engaged in global citizenship activities. It will promote life-affirming cultural philosophies that embody human empowerment through spiritual courage and the recreation and creation of old and new myths. Grounded in this empowerment, viewers will be compelled to create new stereotypes based on ethics of care that build trust and deeper human bonds.

The current project leadership includes:

Dr. Carol L. Simpson, project creator, writer, interviewer, film director and primary producer, and president of non-profit NEWPEACE, Inc. (PhD Transformative Studies and MA Creative Arts Interdisciplinary: Film/Dance). A 40 plus year educator, recipient of numerous awards (e.g. 1991 Immaculate Heart College Southern California Global Educators Award, the 2008 Malibu Music Award, Los Angeles Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) award-winning UCLA/USC published grants), and regional and national facilitator/coordinator of workshops and conferences for educators and academicians, bringing people together from around the world for cultural and educational exchanges with the support of various international U.N. NGOs.

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