The –ISM Youth Files Live Event


The –ISM Youth Files is a youth project focusing on writings and interviews about mental health. The e-book collection of monologues, personal essays, poetry and short graphic novelettes will be available in Fall 2022. MediaRites is also producing four 30-minute podcasts of youth stories, interviews and performances. The e-book, podcast and films will be distributed free on all platforms.

Two rounds of submissions were held with 40 young writers sending in their work from across the country and internationally. We selected 20 majority BIPOC writers from Oregon, Washington, Indiana, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut and one selection from Kolkata, India. Each writer received an honorarium payment.

Two decades earlier, MediaRites produced a book and CD series called “Sorting Through Shadows: Youth Speak Out on Mental Health.” MediaRites selected essays from more than 25 contributors from all over country and the world.

The –ISM Youth Files project is led by Dmae Lo Roberts, a two-time Peabody award-winning documentary producer, filmmaker and writer and the executive producer of MediaRites. Samson Syharath, a Portland theater artist, playwright is the associate producer, Amanda Vander Hyde is production manager. Also working on the project are Clark Salisbury, podcast engineer and Sandra de Helen, co-editor. Our mental health consultant is Eleanor Gil-Kashiwabara of Luminosa Psychological Services. Oregon Children’s Theater’s Nick Condon is collaborating on a youth mental health toolkit to also be distributed to families, schools and organizations and Blake Wales, OCT’s education director is co-producing a live event in Portland’s Curious Comedy Theatre on August 27, 2022.

Mila Kashiwabara, Freya Sticka, Cara Chen, and Jenell Theobald show off their certificates.