Building Your Future in Indiana

Michael Brannon, a carpenter apprentice and graduate of the Build Your Future program in Indiana
Michael Brannon, a carpenter apprentice and graduate of the Build Your Future program in Indiana Courtesy of Jensen Productions Inc. and New America

This spring, Deb Fallows and I made a trip through Indiana for a series of events and meetings co-organized by New America Indianapolis and Indiana Humanities. We were in Muncie, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and the small northern-Indiana town of Angola. You can read some of our series of reports here from Fort Wayne, here from Muncie, and here from Angola, with links to others.

While we were there, a video team from New America made a series of three short films. They’re about the up-close realities of issues that usually appear as slogans or abstractions in so many speeches, policy papers, and panel discussions.

These are issues such as “restoring opportunity,” “re-creating middle-class jobs,” and “bringing hope to the heartland.” Or about working with “returning citizens,” those who have been incarcerated, to increase their chances of a successful return to economic and family life.

To put it another way: Everyone talks about creating opportunity. Here’s what it looks like when people do something about it.

The first film, shot in Fort Wayne and around Indianapolis, describes the work of an innovative program called Build Your Future (BY, for short). It’s five minutes long, and you can see it below.

Thanks to the videographer and editor Michael Jensen, the executive producer Fuzz Hogan, plus our other friends at New America. Two more films shot in Indiana are ahead in the series. The next one is about an art-collaborative project in Indianapolis called Big Car.