Be The Media! with Messiah Rhodes: Passion to Tell Your Story

Date(s) - Friday 11/20/2020
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Register for this event here!

A workshop focuses on learning the journey of Messiah Rhodes and being inspired to tell their own stories!  From traditional documentary to visions of the future, Messiah is a filmmaker/prophet of our time: he will share from why Indy Media important!

The workshop will begin with Messiah’s growth as an independent media maker from his early work to his virtual reality documentary production today. Messiah will then focus on the workshop participants, with primary attention to youth and POC media makers, in a Q&A responding to their needs.

In collaboration with TEAM Hero and Youth FX!


I was born in Far Rockaway, Queens, and did not have an easy childhood. Separated from my parents at 4, I was homeless and on my own by 16 when I discovered my passion for writing and filmmaking, which has gotten me through some of life’s toughest times. I began my career in the film industry at 17 doing grip and electric work, which helped me get out of the shelter and gave me independence.

Since then, I’ve built a steady foundation in independent video journalism, filming and editing footage from the origins of Occupy Wall Street to the Black Lives Matter movement.I’ve worked for companies such as BET, VICE Media, and Democracy Now!, and produced video for the New York City Department of Homeless Services. At my most recent job as an Associate Producer at VICELAND, I pitched and hosted award-winning short documentaries that aired on VICELAND’s cable channel. I am creating video content that highlights marginalized voices, stories, and ideas, and my work is socially conscious, entertaining, and enlightening.

Plus join us later that eve for Against All Odds with Messiah Rhodes and Incarceration Activists!

  • 7:00-8:00 Screening Against All Odds: Part 1 & Part 2 and Discussion
  • 8:00-9:00 Panel: Incarceration in the Pandemic: Connecting the Dots
    Local activists in Troy & Capital Region and NY State doing incarceration work, with focus on understanding what Defund the Police means, empowerment and access to services. Panelists TBC.

Against All Odds

“I lost my mother to the criminal justice system for 15 years.”

Messiah Rhodes is the Director and Producer of “Against All Odds,” a personal and also important social story about recidivism and our criminal justice system and how effects so many generations. It’s also a story of women surviving this broken system and ways we can support them.

Messiah Rhodes was just a kid when his mom, Juanique Rhodes, went to jail. Over the years, she was incarcerated four times. In Against All Odds, a two-episode documentary series produced in partnership with AJ+, Messiah looks at issues that prevent women, like his mom, from breaking the cycle of incarceration.

Juanique and Messaih’s story isn’t unique. 1.9 million women are released from US jails and prisons each year, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. When they get out, they encounter numerous systemic obstacles preventing them from entering and thriving in society. There is no centralized support system for formerly incarcerated women, and without a place to live, with no family backing, limited education and employment opportunities, they are more likely to reoffend, and get trapped in the US criminal justice system. 77 percent of women are rearrested within nine years of being released from prison.

— Sponsored by iEAR Presents! and the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Rensselaer, made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.