JODY SANTOS

DIGITAL STORYTELLER/EDUCATOR/ACTIVIST

Employment

Journo4Justice Northampton, MA

Founder/Digital Storyteller 2015 to Current

Created a media agency dedicated to social change. Produce and direct documentaries to assist advocacy groups in telling their stories to build audiences, raise funds, and succeed at their missions. Coach non-profits and activists in interviewing on camera, setting up production suites to create their own videos, and leveraging the media they have.

The Visionaries Stoughton, MA

Senior Producer 2003 to Current

Traveled to more than 30 countries across five continents to produce a documentary series focused on non-profits, highlighting their work on issues ranging from disability rights to immigration and criminal justice. Series airs on public television and is hosted by Oscar-nominated actor Sam Waterston, star of NBC’s Law & Order and HBO’s Frankie and Grace. Fundraise up to half a million dollars per season.

The GroundTruth Project Boston, MA

Producer/Director of Photography Nov. 2018

Covered voter suppression on Native reservations in North Dakota with a team of college students from Bismarck State for GroundTruth, an independent news organization dedicated to training the next generation of journalists in the U.S. and around the world.

Springfield College Springfield, MA

Associate Professor 2010 to 2016

Taught video and documentary production, advocacy journalism, and social media optimization. Adviser to SCTV3 campus television station. Produced weekly newscast and launched the college’s first mobile broadcasting unit.

Assumption College Worcester, MA

Instructor 2006 to 2010

Taught in the Writing and Mass Communications Concentration, introducing a Documentary Film course and more broadcast classes overall. Established a relationship with a local radio station where students aired podcasts, interviews, and other media created in class.

Rowman & Littlefield New York, NY

Author 2009

Featuring interviews with journalists who have covered some of the worst tragedies in our nation’s history, Daring to Feel: Violence, the News Media, and Their Emotions explores what happens when the news media dare to feel. No longer detached observers, they are free to see violence in all of its emotional complexity.

Projects

#LetThemOut 2016 to Current

In 2016 I started a campaign called “#LetThemOut – Ending Handicapitalism One Story at a Time” that incorporates short documentaries, social media like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and calls to action to free the nearly 2 million Americans with disabilities of all ages who are being held against their will in for-profit institutions. The first episode received close to 2000 views on Vimeo within days of its release and reached more than 2300 people on Facebook. To make sure the “right” people were watching, I tagged dozens of government officials, advocacy groups, and disability rights attorneys in a position to act. The results were direct and immediate. Adam Graziano, the subject of Part 1, was liberated from a facility in Massachusetts after 10 years of institutionalization, and the state agency responsible for protecting the rights of people with disabilities opened an investigation into the rehab center that had been holding him against his will.

Because No One Should Have to Crawl 2017 to Current

In 2017, I produced and directed a documentary for public television about Free Wheelchair Mission, which distributes free wheelchairs to people living in some of the poorest, most remote regions in the world. I gave Free Wheelchair Mission an exclusive release of the film to use as part of a branding/fundraising campaign, and since the fall of 2017, they have been hosting pop-up screenings across the country at churches and in theaters and people’s homes. To date, Free Wheelchair Mission has hosted more than 34 screenings – large and small – all across America, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars and bringing over 400 new supporters into their fold.

Explainer Video 2017

With undercover footage obtained by Disability Rights International (DRI), I created a digital exhibit to document the extreme abuse of people with disabilities living at a facility in Mexico City called Casa Esperanza. DRI was citing these abuses as part of a landmark case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Modeled after the U.S. Supreme Court case of Olmstead vs. LC, DRI’s legal petition in 2017 set out to establish that people with disabilities have a right to live in the community under the protection of international law. DRI also intended to prove that former Casa Esperanza detainees - survivors of permanent restraints, forced sterilization, and human trafficking - had a right to reparations. The case will force Mexico to create new community services, starting with programs for Casa Esperanza survivors.

Volunteering

Paper Airplanes · Instructor June 2018 to Aug. 2018

Boston, MA

Taught online citizen journalism class to young Syrian refugees living in Turkey, giving them the tools to share their stories and perspectives with the world. Used G Suite for class meetings, online training materials, and feedback on student work.

Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange · Videographer 2018 to Current

Newton Highlands, MA

Create video profiles of children in foster care waiting for adoption. Featured on MARE’s “Volunteer Spotlight.”

Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary 75th Anniversary Committee 2017 to Current

Help plan events like folk festivals, lectures, and nature walks as part of the sanctuary's year-long celebration. Advise on press outreach.

Awards

The Telly Awards · Documentary: Social Responsibility 2018

Received a Telly award in the social responsibility category for Because No One Should Have to Crawl, a PBS documentary about a mission to provide free wheelchairs to people living in some of the most remote regions in the world. It was selected from nearly 12,000 entries in all 50 states and five continents.

The Telly Awards · Documentary: Individual 2015

Received in the film/video category for No One Left Behind, a two-part special on PBS about the millions of children and adults with disabilities locked away in orphanages, psychiatric facilities, and other types of institutions around the world.

Northeastern University School of Journalism · James Ragsdale Memorial 2006

Received the annual award from Northeastern University as a student dedicated to First Amendment issues.

American Women in Radio & Television · Gracie Allen Award 2005

Received the annual award for Breast Cancer Legacy, narrated and hosted by Meredith Baxter and airing on the Discovery Channel.

Television Academy · Emmy 2001

Nominated for Best Investigative News Story for a special report on NBC Boston about black-market guns being smuggled in from the South.

Skills

Education

Northeastern University

Master's Journalism

Magna Cum Laude: Graduated with a 3.95 average in the Advanced Research Track.

Awarded a teaching assistanceship all four semesters of the program.

Boston University

Bachelor's English

Cum Laude

Columbia University's Reid Hall Program, Paris, France (spent a semester abroad studying art history and French).