Residents in East and South Los Angeles are shaking up the neighborhood food landscape, using innovative solutions to change eating habits and tackle the challenge of getting fresh, affordable and healthy food into communities. “Food swamps” are caused by an ever-increasing concentration of fast-food restaurants that overwhelm the more limited options for healthier alternatives, and the impact has been stark: an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and other related chronic illnesses—costing billions in health care costs and reducing the life expectancy of residents.
Hollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington was a featured presenter at the Uplift 2012 festival held Dec. 20-23 in Byron Bay, Australia. Buffington held a workshop on “The New Mythology of Television, Film and New Media,” on Friday, Dec. 21, in which she offered techniques of Hollywood’s master storytellers in crafting the most compelling stories. Uplift (Universal Peace & Love in a Festival of Transformation) was described as a “participatory event bringing together some of the world’s most inspirational artists and innovative thinkers to explore, inquire, share and discover.”
Hollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington led a series of events at the 28th International Papillomavirus Conference held Nov. 30 through Dec. 6 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She and a group of entertainment industry writers and producers presented two panel discussions and a storytelling workshop for medical doctors, researchers and clinicians. The Hollywood group included Chris Keyser, president of the Writers Guild of America, West; Jennifer Cecil, executive producer of Private Practice; Zoanne Clack, co-executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy; and Sarah Watson, co-executive producer of Parenthood. Together with Buffington, they held a panel discussion titled “Insiders for a Day: From Hollywood to Telenovelas” and offered a workshop on techniques from Hollywood’s master storytellers to help participants convey health information through storytelling.
Hollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington delivered a presentation on "Hollywood as a Cultural Catalyst" at the second annual Green Festival in Los Angeles. Described as "the nation's largest and most diverse sustainability event," the festival returned to the downtown Convention Center on Nov. 17-18, and featured an organic food court, live music, workshops and an environmental film installation presented by the Sierra Club.
Hollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington delivered a presentation at the 2012 Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference on Nov. 12 in Sacramento. Through workshops and topic sessions on policy and program strategies, the conference explored how to accelerate the transition to an energy efficient and low-carbon economy. Guest speakers included senior-level policymakers, scientists, media representatives and energy experts, who offered the latest behavioral research and communication strategies. The event is being organized by the California Institute for Energy and Environment, the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
On a recent morning beneath beautiful blue skies, a bus full of Hollywood writers and producers pulled up to a space-age-looking entry gate, where a sign next to the familiar NASA logo greeted them with the words: “Welcome to Our Universe.” For the latest Storybus Tour organized by Hollywood, Health & Society, this was a mission to learn about climate change from some of the world’s top scientists and engineers at the NASA-JPL complex just northeast of Los Angeles.Through these signature series of research trips, HH&S offers writers and producers real stories about real people and places—unusual, compelling and dramatic—from climate scientists, other experts and community members on the ground.
Hollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington gave a presentation at the Cause Placement 2012 conference titled “Entertaining Health: Inspiring Hollywood to Create Stories That Change Lives” in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 11. The conference, which connects entertainment and causes, offered "new insights and strategy, and practical ways both can create big wins for their content and missions.” In her presentation, Buffington discussed how HH&S harnesses the power of the entertainment industry by helping writers with a range of services—including its signature Storybus Tours, briefings and consultations with experts, and panel discussions.