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Game Changer Fellow: PENDARVIS HARSHAW

My name is Pendarvis Harshaw and I'm a man. Oakland, California served as the setting to my coming of age story.
I currently work as a freelance journalist and high school teacher. My education: The Oakland Unified School District for K - 8th grade, the Athenian College Preparatory School for my high school years, and Howard University for my undergraduate career, where I studied Telecommunications Management.

With all of that said, my real education happened through the media.

After years of mindless media consumption, I became media literate at the age of 16; that's when I began to take classes at Youth Radio, a non-profit program that provides media training and offers youth the chance to produce radio commentary. Since that time, I have produced media assets that have appeared on a number of major outlets and publications. My stories are about coming of age, critical views on society, and pop- culture. Much of my personal story is of this subject matter as well.

I am currently working on a project called "O.G. Told Me," a photo-essay blog that I hope will spark a discussion that will lead to the bridging of the inter-generational gap in the African-American community. This is the next chapter in my coming of age story. I am proud to be selected as a Game Changer Fellow and will do my best to "change the game."


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Game Changer Fellow: ALI ELMEKKI

My name is Ali Elmekki, and I’m "changing the game" through education. I come from a family of educated and dedicated people who are involved in making a difference in society. That’s why when I was only 17, I decided to leave our traditional high schools and take the initiative to join an accelerated academic program called Gateway to College. I am also a student at Scribe Video Center, a nationally recognized, community based, arts and cultural institution.

I’m changing the game because I am one of the seven remaining students who were chosen out of 40 students who were chosen out of 400 applicants. I was once told that a black man can become anything in his life, and I am a game changer because I believe, and live that statement.


As a 2025 Game Changer Fellow, I would like to show black males as intelligent, individuals who are making a difference in their community. A lot of people are advocating change everyday, and not too many of their voices are heard. I’d hope to portray these men in my films for whom they are, dedicated men trying to make a difference in their communities.

WATCH MY WEB SERIES

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Game Changer Fellow: BRYAN GREEN

My name is Bryan Green and I'm a Philadelphia-area independent filmmaker, freelance videographer, editor, writer, musician and teaching artist. Born and raised in Suitland, Maryland [just outside of Washington DC] I come from a family of industrious artists and trailblazers. I received my first accolade for film and social commentary in the 10th grade when my experimental short “Helter Skelter” [about the 2001 World Trade Center disaster] earned me a scholarship in my home state of Maryland. I've since gone on to win awards and recognition in Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles and have even been screened internationally in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In my work, I always strive to address the problems and social inconsistencies that surround me, which means that most of my documentaries and shorts deal with issues that plague the black community, my community.

I am a Game Changer because I am a free thinker. I don't base my appearance, behavior, speech or lifestyle upon any kind of institutional, societal expectation. I am a Game Changer because I work with what I have, do what I can, and make my own way. I am a Game Changer because I am dedicated to the integrity of my craft. I am a Game Changer because I seek to improve my community in everything I do. And as a 2025 Game Changer, my intent is to give a voice to other free-thinking, dedicated men in my community who do the same. And I won't wait on mainstream media to do it for me.


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Game Changer Fellow: SULAIMAN TAHIR

I was born in Philadelphia,PA. Being a black male in an urban environment the odds were naturally against me to succeed.Yet by overcoming many obstacles I am still able to carry out my goals and aspirations of becoming a great filmmaker, and more importantly a great person. Currently, I am a student at Scribe Video Center, a nationally recognized, community based, arts and cultural institution.

In 2010, I made the decision to leave high school at the age of 17. This is an action most would frown on but I felt it was something I had to do. However, I successfully obtained my GED and enrolled at the Community College of Philadelphia where I have been recently accepted into the honors program there. After my first semester, I plan to transfer to Temple University.

A game changer to me is someone who goes against the tide, stands out from others and changes the traditional rules or what is accepted in society. In order to achieve the status of a "2025 Game Changer" fellow, decisions must be made, goals must be set and a plan of action is always necessary.
Media has a very powerful impact on those who it portrays. The affect it has on males of African descent is evident in today's society. In my opinion, in the last 100 years, the media has not been responsible in its portrayal of men of color.

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Other Game Changer Fellows


EXCLUSIVE!
Game Changers Now Seen on theGrio.com

A Media Fellowship sponsored by the Open Society Institute’s

Campaign for Black Male Achievement

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Angry. Violent. Irresponsible. Thug. Gangster. Baby Daddy. Tired of seeing the same negative stereotypes of Black men in the media? We all are. Now let's do something about it. If you live in one of the cities below and are making a difference in your community, your story could be the subject of a 2025 Game Changer documentary.

APPLY NOW!

About the Program

What: The 2025 Game Changer Project: A media fellowship for African American males living in the following cities: Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee.

Who: Presented by Forwardever Media, the 2025 Game Changer Project is a national program sponsored by the Open Society Institute's Campaign for Black Male Achievement. The program puts the power of digital media production and distribution into the hands of selected leaders in various communities across the country.