Hollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington moderated a panel discussion titled "How Youth Drive Change" at the 7th annual UNESCO Youth Forum, held Oct. 17-20 at the organization's headquarters in Paris. Despite their critical roles in the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements, young people rarely see themselves reflected in TV and movie storylines as heroes, social activists and vital contributors to the shaping of a collective future. This year’s Youth Forum presented a lineup of speakers that included Forest Whitaker, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and an Academy Award-winning actor; anti-violence activist César López; and Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho.
In 1974, Annenberg Journalism Professor Joe Saltzman produced what has been acknowledged to be the first TV documentary on breast cancer, an hour-long program called Why Me? This groundbreaking documentary addressed a subject not seen before on television. The award-winning program was viewed by one out of every three women in the Western world, and it has been credited with saving thousands of lives.
Sandra de Castro Buffington, director of Hollywood, Health & Society, presented “Obesity Storylines Go Primetime: Working with Hollywood’s Writers to Tackle Obesity in TV, Film and New Media” at the Child Obesity: A Call to Action summit. Dozens of health, government and USC officials—including Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Diane E. Watson, and Audrey Rowe, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture—and guests all came together to discuss research, community intervention and the need for legislation.
Lear Center director Marty Kaplan presented the talk "Hollywood, Health & Society: The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California" September 7 at the "Don't Think It's Only Entertainment..." Conference in Berlin. The MINTiif (Mathematics, Computer Science, Natural Science, Technology and Equal Opportunities in TV Drama Formats) project is funded by the German Federal Education Ministry and the European Social Fund to explore the lack of role models for women on TV in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Sandra de Castro Buffington, director of Hollywood, Health & Society, presented “The Media and the Message: Sexual Violence Storylines on Primetime TV” at the National Sexual Assault Conference. Professionals from rape crisis centers, survivors, coalitions, prevention programs, law enforcement and the military participated in the conference, which featured more than 80 workshops and a strong focus on technology and social media.
Sandra de Castro Buffington, director of Hollywood, Health & Society, was joined by research specialist Sheena Nahm and Chris Dzialo, transmedia outreach specialist, in presenting “The Art and Science of Public Health Storytelling On Air and Online: CDC Experts and Hollywood’s Writers Impact Public Health Worldwide” at the CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media, in Atlanta. Also participating was Grey's Anatomy writer-producer Dr. Zoanne Clack.
The Lear Center's Hollywood, Health & Society program brought together top experts on the science and psychology of addiction to discuss cutting-edge research with the producers and writers from A&E's Emmy Award-winning series Intervention at the Writers Guild of America, West. The briefing was co-sponsored by HH&S, the WGAW and A&E/Intervention and kicks off a new bi-monthly speaker series in which experts will help Intervention's creative team tell accurate and compelling stories about all forms of addiction.