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Human Rights Film Festivals

JAYU is a Toronto Organization Aiming to Empower Communities

— November 23, 2015 — Pop Culture
JAYU is a Canadian social enterprise that is in its fourth year of hosting the Human Rights Film Festival at Toronto's Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Currently up for consideration for funding on Indiegogo, JAYU has reached 54% of its goal with only four days left to donate. JAYU is located in Toronto and works out of the Centre for Social Innovation, a social enterprise dedicated to empowering social innovation in the city.

In addition to its Human Rights Film Festival, which takes place in December, JAYU also runs a Photography Mentorship Program for at-risk youth, a monthly speaker series called JAYU Speaks, as well as The Hum Podcast, which aims to rebrand the way we discuss human rights issues and is hosted by Founder and Executive Director Gilad Cohen and award-winning filmmaker Amar Wala.

JAYU (??) is the Korean word for freedom, and the organization envisions a world based on this principle. Central to the mission of JAYU is the belief that empowering individuals to tell their own human rights stories is the most efficient means to laying groundwork for positive social change. The power to tell one's own story is especially symbolic of human rights struggles around the world given that such a privilege is often denied to those that are victims of a crisis.

Recently, the JAYU team added three new enticing IndieGogo perks for interested parties who may live outside of the Greater Toronto Area. Those perks include prints of photographs taken by at-risk and homeless youth involved in JAYU's Photography Mentoring Program, a one-on-one Skype consultation with Founder Gilad Cohen on the business of starting your own film festival and autographed DVDs as well as film stills from 2014's Opening Night Film.

JAYU's Indiegogo campaign can be found here.