New learning documentary series aims to elevate the stories of Black and Latino community changemakers

Kansas City, MO — Health Forward Foundation and BeGreat Together, in partnership with the Convergence Partnership, and Assemble.fyi, are launching a new and innovative series called DocuCourse, committed to elevating the collective stories of Black and Latino community changemakers in the Kansas City area. The series will promote and build cultural movements and change narratives within our communities.

Over the course of the next year, DocuCourse creator and director, Avrell Stokes, will release four, 60-minute documentaries featuring the lived experience of a community champion and stories, strategies, and research insights on structural and systemic inequities. The DocuCourse will provide practical guidance to community partners interested in developing solutions to advance racial equity and economic justice.

“Health Forward is proud to partner on a project that will catalyze change and bring people together using stories that promote health equity,” said Qiana Thomason, Health Forward president/CEO. “This work aligns with our plan to advance health equity because it focuses on replacing harmful narratives with more inclusive narratives. We have a collective responsibility to elevate the resilience, inclusivity and power of black and brown changemakers of the Kansas City region.” 

The first DocuCourse will be available September 18, 2022, at 6pm CST, during Hispanic Heritage Month. Featured will be Diosselyn Tot, a local artist who uses art as a tool for advocacy and shaping community perspectives

“This experience has been surreal,” said Diosselyn Tot, DocuCourse’s first feature changemaker story. “I keep thinking of the word legacy, and what it entails. The feelings, the actions, the changes, the impact. This experience was like no other, it made me see myself in a different light and it was amazing to work with neighbors from our own community. I am elated and honored to be one of the feature changemakers and overjoyed of the lessons I learned, the experiences and awesome people I met and above all for sharing mi historia.”  

BeGreat Together was created with the belief that many of our most influential changemakers are in our own communities and neighborhoods. Through DocuCourse, various stories and strategies for change will be presented through the lens of leaders doing the daily work to create inspiration and impact. Additional DocuCourse feature films will air December 2022 – May 2023, to highlight and bring exposure to motivational Black and Latino leaders.

To view the trailer, receive updates, and tune in, visit www.docucourse.org

“We are humbled by the amazing community leaders who have entrusted us with telling their stories and grateful for the trust and thought-partnership from the team at Health Forward Foundation, Convergence Partnership, and Assemble,” said Avrell Stokes, BeGreat Together president. “Trust is what allows these types of innovative approaches to come to fruition. Our hope is to continue partnering with leaders and organizations who may be inspired by and see the transformative power of DocuCourse in shaping narratives and driving action in communities.”

The DocuCourse series launch is funded by Health Forward and the Convergence Partnership — a collaboration of national funders focused on transforming policy and systems to advance health and racial equity. Health Forward has partnered with Convergence since 2007. The DocuCourse is one of their investments in community power building to drive structural change and elevate community stories that shift public attitudes.

“Convergence Partnership firmly believes that the wisdom, voice, and agency of people—particularly people of color—must be prioritized and elevated to change racist and harmful narratives, policies, and systems. BeGreat Together’s DocuCourse is exactly the kind of effort needed to unleash the true power of narrative and build the groundswell of political and public support required to achieve an inclusive, healthy democracy and society,” said Amanda Navarro, Executive Director.