Delays, Denials, and Progress

Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Hollywood Sign --- Image by © Robert Landau/CORBIS

Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA — Hollywood Sign — Image by © Robert Landau/CORBIS

Are you familiar with the term “Hollywood-ing”? –It takes its inspiration from Hollywood, California. The idea is that when someone “in the (movie) Industry” is approached and they don’t want to actually work with their approacher, they retort that they’ll “have my people, get with you/your people”. They do this as a euphemism to save face. Instead of directly saying, “I’m not interested”, they give a false hope that they have cleared their schedule for good, collaborative things to follow.

I share this because I’ve come to realize that I’ve been “Hollywood-ed” more times than I would care to admit as it relates to the Parent-Teacher Conference Project. Yes, I can share actual emails, text messages, and business cards from the culprits, but that would be tasteless, right? So instead, I will share the progress and lovely work-arounds that have occurred as a result of the delays and denials that have been part of the project’s journey. Really, there’s no hard feelings because the texture of the project has evolved – inspired by Hollywood. Who knew?!

As before, the Parent-Teacher Conference project is still committed to giving an honest depiction of public school education here in Kansas City, MO using the viewpoints of the “Players in Education”. (See previous posts here and here.) To date, 100% of the filming is completed. We have 11+ people who we’ve interviewed as the “Players in Education”.

rocket grant image

Here’s the line up (in no particular order):

India WilliamsHot 103 Jamz Generation Rap Adviser/Mentor and Jackson County Committee Woman (10th Ward)

Michelle Foster, Sherman Family Endowed Chair in Urban Education Research

Dr. Linwood Tauheed, Associate Professor of Economics University of Missouri-Kansas City

Spark Bookhart, Parent Organizer

Dr. Umar Johnson, School Psychologist Nat’l Movement to Save Black Boys

Freeway Rick Ross, Author and Founder of Freeway Literacy Foundation

Paul Richardson, Generator and Co-Founder of The KC Wordshop

Arthur Benson, Civil Rights Lawyer

Solomon Bass, Filmmaker and Activist

Randy D. Dunn, Missouri State Representative, 23rd District

Reverend Billy R. Hunley


Te’Myia Jones, Raytown High School

Amari Carter, Belton High School

Kayla Henderson, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School

Jasmine “M’Lady” Smith, Center Alternative School

Isaiah Jackson, Blue Springs South High School

Jazymne Smith, University Academy

Additional Educators (beyond Kansas City):

Carrol Thomas

James Crawford

Dr. Phillip Hickman

Dwayne Compton

Matt and Maria Hampton

Devon Thompson

Ida Byrd-Hill

So as it stands, the footage is captured and undergoing the labor-intensive editing process. A new consideration has emerged: instead of a traditional music video film, we are making a multi-media music video. The reasoning behind this is to work around the location limitations. Of course this is extra work, however, the video has been story-boarded and mood-boarded for this, so it’s underway.

There’s tons of material to share, and share we will. We’ll release transcribed snippets from random interviews over the next weeks up until the documentary and music video is completed. In the meanwhile, connect with us on Facebook: or send email correspondence to

Steady does it. Progress.


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