Meet Dawn Jones Redstone. Dawn worked as a union carpenter before teaching at Oregon Tradeswomen, a non-profit that helps women access living wage careers in construction. During the sixteen years she spent in these positions, she was also making films and is now a full-time filmmaker.
Dawn made a short film called Sista in the Brotherhood, which involves a female African American apprentice carpenter (Sidony O’neal) who experiences discrimination on the job site and has to choose between making a stand and keeping her job. After winning multiple awards during its festival run, the construction industry began using it as a training tool. Dawn explains why using her film for this purpose is quite different compared to other training methods. I think that the film does a fantastic job at depicting what actually exists in the construction industry.
Currently doing research in pursuit of making a feature-length film, Dawn had the chance to talk to a woman whose job it is to ensure that her company is meeting its workforce diversity requirements. This particular woman had great success in doing so, and Dawn tells us how she was able to achieve this with a focus on her hiring practices.
When we hear about diversity quotas, men sometimes get upset and think “just because she’s a girl, that’s the only reason she’s getting hired.” It bothers me to hear people say that. When women get into these positions, they do have a level of responsibility. I love when women utilize their opportunities to make a great change, which the woman Dawn talks about is doing.
Dawn tells us about how the process of making her feature-length film is going and provides a timeline for when she hopes to have the final script finished. We learn more about how the film is being used to train people, as Dawn mentions that even the United States Department of Labor has recently picked it up. Dawn and I discuss some more about why conveying this message in a film makes for a more impactful experience. Be sure to visit her website: Sista in the Brotherhood: http://www.sistainthebrotherhood.com/
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