Nissa Tzun, Karintha Tervalon, Eduardo David Rossal, Oja Vincent, Jacqueline Lawrence
Saturday, 10 a.m.
We are often too familiar with the victims of nationally recognized police homicide cases, but what do we know of those they left behind: their families? What do we really know about the impact police violence has on our communities? Forced Trajectory Project (FTP) sought to answer these questions in 2009 by documenting and interviewing family members of police homicide victims.
Nine years later, this inquiry has developed into a nationwide, long term, multimedia documentary project, providing a unique portal into the lives and narratives of those directly impacted by police homicide, individuals who suffer the agony of a devastating life event yet find strength and hope by building with community and through commemorating their loved ones. FTP serves as a sister organization to Families United 4 Justice, a growing nationwide coalition of families impacted by police violence, organizing for self-determination, collective healing and justice, and political power.
FTP works in concert with those on the frontline of the anti-police brutality movement by hosting their stories, providing crucial media analysis on how the construction of mainstream police brutality narratives perpetuates the problem, and through offering media training so that families and organizers can return to their communities equipped with media weaponry to preserve the truth. In this session you will meet the FTP media team who will introduce the project and explore how citizen journalism and grassroots public relations can foster change through empowering those on the frontline and engage local communities, ultimately serving as a catalyst for social revolution.
Nissa Dee Tzun is an award-winning media artist, community organizer and educator. Her work is driven by her persistence to advocate for human rights by any means necessary. In 2009, Nissa founded the Forced Trajectory Project, a long-term, multimedia documentary project illuminating the narratives of families impacted by police murder and corruption. The project has been exhibited across the country in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Oakland, Detroit and Las Vegas, and has received numerous awards and recognitions. In 2014, Nissa assisted the formation of Families United 4 Justice (FU4J), a nationwide collective of families impacted by police violence. Last year, Nissa, along with the FU4J team, raised over $30,000 to subsidize 50 affected family members to attend the first FU4J National Network Gathering at Wayne State University in Detroit. This year, the 2nd National Network Gathering was held at Merritt College, the birthplace of the Black Panther Movement. The conference was a success with over 100 family members in attendance. Nissa serves as a Communications Fellow for Center for Community Change, organizes as a core working group member with Groundswell Oral History, a nationwide network of oral historians working for social change, and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Social Work and Master’s in Journalism & Media Studies at UNLV. She is most recently a Davis Putter Scholarship Award recipient. In her own time she is a trauma-informed yoga teacher and yoga & meditation practitioner and a raw vegan recipe developer.
Karintha Tervalon is a Journalism and Media Studies graduate student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She earned her Marketing and Cultural Studies B.A. from Chatham University in 2003. She has extensive presenting experience through her previous employment as an Orientation Leader at Mandalay Bay and as Vice President of PR for Toastmasters International. A former internet television co-host for The Guy Dawson Show, Karintha still works with Guy Dawson and Classy Communications as a media partner. She currently works as an academic advisor for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, guiding undergraduate students to academic success and progress at the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs. Her graduate research is focused on how news media portrays events of police violence. She is currently working on a documentary analyzing the television news media narrative of the police shooting of Rex Wilson in Henderson, NV. She is a project partner and media contributor to the Forced Trajectory Project and community organizer passionate about helping Families United 4 Justice.
Eduardo Rossal is a journalist, photographer and videographer, and currently interning with Forced Trajectory Project. He is pursuing his Bachelor’s in Journalism & Media Studies with a minor in Anthropology at UNLV.
DJ Oja (o-jah) or Oja Vincent, is a producer, DJ, educator and activist whose life work is to create, connect & be part of the global movement to build community through sound-based story-telling, production, performance and logical construction while dynamically passing the tradition on to the next generation. As a solo DJ & producer, Oja has been responsible for providing kinetic song selection/blends, sound design & ambiance for everything from live performances, fundraisers, festivals and conferences, sound for television, film, soundtracks and sound installations accompanying visual art. During the past eight years he has continued to work to document, produce, collaborate, create and perform alongside like-minded artists in order to help tell untold stories, construct environments and inspire thought, dialog and action through sound. In addition, Oja has been using his community building and media arts skills to work as a part of ACD Media, an independent media collective, to contribute to a project focused on sharing the stories of the families of victims of police murder and their journey called the Forced Trajectory Project (forcedtrajectory.com). He currently resides in Las Vegas, but can frequently be found in Brooklyn, New Mexico, the Bay Area and anywhere in between.
Jacqueline Lawrence is the mother of police homicide victim, Keith Childress, Jr., who was the last person known to be killed by law enforcement in the US. He was killed in broad daylight in a private neighborhood in Las Vegas. He was unarmed and was carrying a cell phone. The US Marshall had put out a false alert that Childress was wanted for attempted murder and was armed and dangerous, which he was neither. Childress leaves behind a very large family including three young daughters. Jacqueline became introduced to Families United 4 Justice, a nationwide coalition of families impacted by police violence, through the Forced Trajectory Project, who reach out to her when her son was killed. She soon became featured in the project and currently her story is being put together for a new series called, “Residuum” produced by Forced Trajectory Project and published on Change Wire, an online publication by the Center for Community Change. She currently has a wrongful death lawsuit against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department for the murder of her son.