July 29, 2021

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Anthem Club: Joi Lee, Immersive Media Journalist & Documentary Filmmaker

The Anthem Club is a professional networking and convening space for folks who work in the social impact community. Held by humans across non-profits and digital organizing, as well as journalists, documentary filmmakers, creatives and marketers, the Anthem Club is a digital and offline squad that comes together to share what’s working on the ground and inspire each other to build new dynamics for a better future.

Joi Lee is an Immersive Media Journalist & Documentary Filmmaker

What advice would you give to young people who would like to pursue a career in social impact?

Never assume you know what’s best for the community you’re striving to support. People know their own needs — and most are happy to share if asked. Nurture your ability to not only ask the right questions, but to really listen (these two skills are gold!). And if you get into this work because you want to contribute to a positive change in the world but also have deep ambitions, good on you. You can do both. Just remember what grounds you, and know that you’ll likely do your best work by learning to take the back seat and supporting the right drivers to steer the car. Humility is good. A sprinkle of doubt is healthy. Leaning on others is a must. 

What is the role or project you have been a part of that you are most proud of?

I helped develop and launch an initiative at Al Jazeera called My People, Our Stories, where we equipped young storytellers around the world with 360 cameras and trained them how to use it to document their own stories. From Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan to Los Angeles, the initiative aimed to democratize both storytelling tools and platforms. The results were clear — people produced videos that were uniquely and firmly centered in their own voice and narrative, telling their stories in the way that only they could do.

What is your dream social impact project?

My long-term goal is creating a harmonious ecosystem of different practitioners — policymakers, journalists, scientists, artists, community organizers, etc — working together to leverage their different strengths and disciplines to create more equitable and holistic solutions against climate injustice issues. Give me a few years, but I’ll (we’ll) get there.