The Fuller Arts Center was filled on Monday, March, 30, 2015 as Jody Santos, Associate Professor of Communications, premiered her film “No One Left Behind.” Joining Santos, was Eric Rosenthal (Founder and Excutive Director of DRI), and Laurie Ahern (President), for a Q&A session following the film’s premiere.
The audience was left speechless as the film played. Santos works for “Visionaries,” a television series that focuses on non-profits. Santos focused on Disability Rights International, a non-profit organization that looks at the rights and lack of rights for people with disabilities around the world.
With her film crew, Santos headed to Mexico and the Republic of Georgia to take a look at their orphanages and to see what kind of care that the children were receiving. The results were horrifying. Multiple children were found bound to their bed, incapable of movement. Some were found with water in their brain, or Hydrocephalus, a condition that could be treated if tended to.
“Most people do not understand that orphanages are a gateway to segregation and abuse,” commented Ahern.
Many of the children left in the orphanages have families, but they can’t support them. These countries also have taboo views on disabilities so they pass the children on, only for them to be in worse conditions.
Rosenthal expressed his concern multiple times throughout the film about what has been happening at these orphanages. Rosenthal and DRI have been focused on systematic change by shutting down these facilities.
“Every time we’re showing those pictures, we’re shattering stereotypes to create that new awareness, then create that legal framework,” Rosenthal said.
“Jody’s journalism flows from a deep heart and a profound sense of empathy,” said Marty Dobrow, Associate Professor of Communications. “She sees injustice in the world, and she takes it on with her camera and her storytelling. She is an inspiration for all of us.”
Santos’ film was powerful. It brought a voice to the voiceless, and will hopefully go on to help DRI in their fight against the horrible abuse that goes on in these orphanages.
“There’s a time when the cost of remaining silent weighs more heavily than speaking out,” said Santos.