Summer Program 2014 

     The Digital Media Training Program in Harlem conducted a 3D Animation Workshop and a Black Scientist Speakers Series for black and Latino junior high and high school students at the Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applies Science. Visual artist and animator Femi Ige taught the students 3D animation using the open source animation software Blender. During the workshop students learned how to create a three dimensional car.
     In order to encourage students to pursue careers in science and math the Black Scientist Speakers Series was launched. It featured presentations by four black scientists who talked about their areas of research and how they embarked on their careers. Dr. Jamol Pender was born in the Bronx, New York and earned his PhD. from Princeton University in Operations Research and Financial Engineering. Chike Ukeagbu, originally from Nigeria, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the City University of New York and a Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mgavi Brathwaite was born in Harlem, New York and earned a Masters of Science degree in Plant Biotechnology from Tuskegee University. Dr. Christopher Blackwood, was born in the Bronx, New York and earned a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Pharmacology.
     The project was a collaboration between the Riverside Church Division of Children, Youth and Families directed by the Reverend James Singletary, the Board for the Education of People of African Ancestry’s Digital Media Training Program directed by Columbia Journalism School Adjunct Professor Melvin McCray and Columbia Engineering School’s Outreach Program directed by Emily Ford. 
     The Digital Media Training Program in Harlem hopes to inspire, train and nurture the next generation of young scientists and digital media artists. The program was funded by the West Harlem Development Corporation.

On February 28, 2014, President Barak Obama hosted the first-ever White House Student Film Festival in the East Room. Phelps Stokes Digital Media Training Program students won "Honorable Mention" for their film "Harlem Thourgh My Eyes: Digital Media Meets Oral History." A clip of their film was featured in a compliation reel composed of some of the 2,500 entries before an audience of student finalists and invited guests. Congratulations to all of the students, instructors, interns and volunteers of the Phelps Stokes Digital Media Training Program. A special thanks to My Images Studios LLC (MIST Harlem) and the Riverside Church for their partnership and use of their facilities. This program was made possible by a grant from the West Harlem Development Corporation and in-kind support from Media Genesis Solutions LLC, Columbia University School of Social Work and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. For more information on the Harlem Through My Eyes Project visit our website: www.harlemeyes.com or contact the program director at melvinmccray@gmail.com.

In February of 2014, the students at the Phelps Stokes Digital Media Training Program in Harlem won an "Honorable Mention" in the first-ever White House Student Film Festival for their film "Harlem Through My Eyes: Digital Technology Meets Oral History". They used digital technology and oral history to chronicle stories of Harlem's past and present. This free program trains young people in 3D animation, video, photography, journalism and oral history. While learning digital media skills the students are creating the Harlem Through My Eyes project, a multi-media exhibit, website, photography book and video documentary that examines the community of Harlem through the eyes of the people who live and work there. The program is collaborating with My Image Studios LLC and the Riverside Church with funding provided by a grant from the West Harlem Development Corporation. Melvin McCray, adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is the Program Director as well as the video and photography instructor. Rev. James Singletary is the Director of Children, Youth and Families at the Riverside Church. Alexis Moses is the 3D animation instructor. See more of our work at www.harlemeyes.com.

 

This is an extended version of the "Honorable Mention" winning video in the White House Student Film Festival. It includes a segment on Congressman Adam Clayton Powell and a 3D rendering of the Harlem State Office Building that bares his name. 

 

In this video students from the Phelps Stokes Digital Media Training Program at the Riverside Church report on the life and death of President Nelson Mandela. The Reverend James Forbes, the ministerial staff and the congregation of Riverside Church were early supporters of the anti-apartheid movement and enjoyed a special relationship with Mandela once he was freed from prison after 27 years. After his death on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95, the church celebrated his life and legacy in a memorial service of praise and thanksgiving. The young students in the media-training program are learning journalism, oral history, video and photography. The program is funded by the West Harlem Development Corporation and administered by the Riverside Church’s Rev. James Singletary and Columbia Journalism School Adjunct Professor Melvin McCray. The students used the occasion of Mandela’s death to sharpen their journalism skills and learn more about one of the most influential men of the last century. They were particularly intrigued by the fact that Mandela addressed enthusiastic crowds in the sanctuary where they were reporting. The opening montage contains rare footage of Mandela's farewell address to the Riverside Church filmed by McCray in 2005. 

Members of the Phelps Stokes Digital Media Training Program at the Riverside Church led by Rev. James Singletary (top row third from left), Director of Children, Youth and Families at the Riverside Church and Melvin McCray (bottom), Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Members of the Phelps Stokes Digital Media Training Program at the Riverside Church led by Rev. James Singletary (top row third from left), Director of Children, Youth and Families at the Riverside Church and Melvin McCray (bottom), Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

High school students meet every Friday night to work on media projects of their own choosing. The program is part of the Phelps Stokes Digital Media Training Program at the Riverside Church. It's administered by Rev. James Singletary, director of Youth, Children and Families and Melvin McCray, adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Funding has been provided by the West Harlem Development Corporation.

The Digital Media Training Program In Harlem 

The Harlem Thourgh My Eyes Project

The primary goal of the Harlem Through My Eyes Project is to create a multi-media exhibit, website and photography book. A secondary goal is to train black and Hispanic youth in the Harlem community in video, photography, 3D animation, computer programming and journalism. The Digital Media Training Program in Harlem seeks to change the long-term prospects of African Americans and Latino youth through their participation in digital media training. The program will enable underserved young people, 16 to 24, to produce projects that expresses their reality and vision, feature their projects in public screenings and online exhibits, develop their collaborative, communication and critical thinking skills, critique and provide instructive feedback on their work, counsel them on how to channel their creativity and skills into viable career paths as well as guide them to additional training, internships and entry level job positions.

The first phase of the program was a six-week intensive video and photography workshop that took place from July 8 to August 15, 2013 at My Image Studios (MIST Harlem) at 46 West 116th Street in New City. 

The second phase of the program ran from October to June 2014 and consisted of video and photography training at the Riversided Church.

The third phase of the program was a Saturday 3D animation workshop at MIST Harlem that ran from November to June 2014. 

The fourth phase of the program summer 3D animation workshop and Black Scientist Speakers Series that took place at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. 

Melvin McCray, Program Director, is an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a 28-year veteran of ABC News. McCray has created journalism and digital media projects in the undergraduate program at Princeton University, Long Island University, Cooper Union and the Bread and Roses Cultural Project. For the last two years, McCray has implemented an oral history and journalism program at the Harlem Renaissance High School, a transfer school for at-risk students.

The Digital Media Training Program is supported by a grant from the West Harlem Development Corporation, a donation of facilities by My Image Studios LLC and in collaboration with the Riverside Church's Youth Ministry. For more information about the program contact Melvin McCray at (917) 748-4122, melvinmccray@gmail.com or Harlemthroughmyeyes@gmail.com