Under The Scarf Synopsis
Mehrin, like any other teenage girl, tries to navigate her way through high school. Once the scarf is on, she’s deemed a stereotype. Under The Scarf is one of four short social impact documentaries co-produced by GlobalGirl Media + Women’s Voices Now, summer 2018.
About Under The Scarf’s Youth Filmmakers
Ana Antuna is a student activist and organizer in Los Angeles. She is a first-generation student studying Political Science at The University of Southern California. Born and raised in the city of angels, she has seen and experienced social injustice, and knows the struggles her community endures daily. She is part of “We Can Make A Difference LA”, a group that collects and donates hygiene products and clothing for homeless communities living on Skid Row. She is a board member of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, and strives to achieve inclusiveness and justice for her community.
Her love for children and art has given her the opportunity to become a mentor and volunteer for foster youth. She volunteers with Free Arts, a non-governmental organization that provides art for underserved children in Los Angeles County and creates masterpieces with the children. Ana was a lead student organizer for March For Our Lives LA. She is now part of a group called Youth Change Coalition that formed after MFOL LA, with a mission is to fight for issues that affect all youth.
She has organized and led marches such as the 4/20 walkouts and a die-in at City Hall. She received the Dean’s Award during her freshman and sophomore year. Ana also received a certification of appreciation on behalf of the City of Los Angeles and the New 9th Council district for being the moderator at a panel in the 3rd Annual Mujeres Empowered for Success Latina Conference. Ana’s passion and purpose is to serve her community. She strives for equality and justice. Her activism reflects the person she is and the vision she wishes to see in this world.
Mehrin Ashraf is a Bangladeshi, Muslim girl, living in the United States with hopes to achieve a high education, take care of her family and give back to the community. She traveled to the United States in May 2013 without knowing how to speak English. Within 3 months, she taught herself to speak proper English by watching TV and reading books.
Mehrin works with two major social justice organizations, Korean Resource Center and Mayor’s Youth Council, and has previously worked with USC Shoah Foundation. She was president of her school’s student body for the last two years, and leads multiple clubs at her school. Mehrin was awarded NCWIT Aspirations In Computing award for LA and OC in 2018. In her free time, she loves to write stories, educate her friends about political events and take pictures.
Michelle Leon is the oldest of three siblings and came from immigrant parents. A recent graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, she attends Mount Saint Mary’s University- Los Angeles with the plan to major in journalism and minor in environmental studies. She is passionate about writing and the environment and aspires to be an independent writer or to write for the National Park Service.
Her previous internship with journalism, media and environmental conservation includes an internship with Wapow, an upcoming magazine in the Chinatown community, work with Las Fotos Project, an organization in the community that empowers young girls and women to learn about the world of photography, and a summer job with the National Park Service in the Interior Department, performing restoration and beautification projects in the Santa Monica Mountains. She enjoys hiking, scenic places, cafes, coffee shops, reading and adventures with friends and family in her free time.
Cheyenne Williams is a rising junior at Hollywood High School and is in the New Media Academy (NMA). Cheyenne participated in SkillsUSA’s TV production film competition. She plays the role of “Harem Girl” in the play, Aladdin, at the Madrid Theatre.
Film Screening Guide
PRE-FILM REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
- When it comes to the Muslim community, what kind of stereotypes do I encounter in the news and on the street?
- Do I fear people who look differently than myself or hold belief systems other than my own? If so, what am I afraid of?
- How often do I interact with people who do not come from my everyday community?
POST-FILM DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
- In the film Mehrin states, “When I wear hijab I can feel so many people being uncomfortable, even if they don’t mean to be…I always feel like I’m going to let someone down because I’m wearing a hijab. I feel extra responsible for everything that I do.” What do you think Mehrin means when she says this?
- While Mehrin talks about certain advantages to living in the United States, she also questions how the country can claim to be free amidst discrimination against immigrants, including the Muslim Ban. What does freedom mean to you? What does freedom look like in our schools, in our places of worship, and in our communities?
- How, by hearing stories first hand, can we create empathy between people that are different from one another?
- Has this film changed your perception of anyone in your life, including yourself?
- Can you think of a time where you were uncomfortable around someone because they seemed different from you? What were your underlying feelings and how might you act differently now?
- What can you do to be more inclusive to those who may seem to be different from you or the people you know?
CALLS TO ACTION:
- SHARE THIS CAMPAIGN, copy/paste:
On Twitter and Facebook:
Look #UndertheScarf, watch a short doc by #femaleyouth on being a young #woman, #Muslim & #immigrant in #America seeking #identity & #inclusivity. #DefyHate, join the #empathytoactionfilmclub #womensvoicesnow #bethechange @WomensVoicesNow @globalgirlmedia https://bit.ly/2ujfAwk
Take a look #UndertheScarf, watch a short doc by #female #youth on being a young #woman, a #Muslim, and an #immigrant in #America seeking #identity & #inclusivity. #DefyHate, join the #empathytoactionfilmclub #womensvoicesnow #bethechange @Womens_Voices_Now @GlobalGirl Media https://bit.ly/2ujfAwk
2. HOST A SCREENING OF THIS FILM using this screening guide:
At your church/temple/mosque
At Your School
At Your Community Center
3. Check out interfaith dialogue organizations in the RESOURCES section below.
- Expand your circle of friends — if you don’t have any Muslim friends, make some.
Organizations that foster interfaith dialogue and intercommunal dialogue:
- New Ground — A Muslim Jewish Partnership for Change
- Connecting Actions
- Peace Heals — Interfaith Dialogue Project
Organizations that support Muslim youth:
Documents and Reading Materials:
- ACLU Fact Sheet: Discrimination against Muslim Women
- ACLU Downloadable PDF: Know Your Rights: Discrimination Against Immigrants and Muslims (Available in English, Arabic, Spanish, Farsi, Indonesiean and Urdu)
Petition to Sign:
If you have used this Film Screening Guide, let us know!
This film is a co-production of Women’s Voices Now and GlobalGirl Media, created in a co-produced youth summer program focused on empowering the next generation of women and femme-identifying activists, filmmakers, and feminists between the ages of 14-22 years old.