Since I met documentary filmmaker Kimberly Bautista at the Latino Producers Academy in 2013, I have been collaborating with her on fundraising and developing educational materials related to her award-winning film, Justice for My Sister.

The film examines the issue of femicide (the most extreme form of violence against women) by taking an intimate look at one Guatemalan family’s tragic loss.

It has been screened in over 170 communities in Guatemala, where Bautista launched an outreach campaign using a text message-based service to connect audiences to resources, references, and counseling. The success of the Guatemalan campaign led Bautista to develop a transnational campaign that denounces gender-based violence using the film as the centerpiece.

The Justice for My Sister campaign incorporates outreach, violence prevention, leadership development, and connecting the general public to services,” says Bautista.

“We implement popular education techniques and art activities to make it easier for participants to engage in topics that are usually silenced and stigmatized by society at large. We have a focus on creating safe spaces, and reclaiming public space through art and public screenings, so that participants can share their stories- defying a culture of victim-blaming, and encouraging other survivors to share their stories as well, and participating in a process of healing.”

The suite of education and outreach materials I’ve worked on with Bautista include a study guide for university students, and a ten-lesson curriculum to train community leaders. Partner organizations in 20 countries now use the film and educational materials and toolkits to further their own local campaigns and promote gender equity and healthy relationships using popular education techniques and media production.

This work has spurred my current interest in a problem that now plagues us in the U.S. — the prevalence of violent threats online. Stay tuned for more on issues of digital empathy and tools and tactics for fighting harassment of women and minority media makers, activists and others.