I met with Leon Mitchell in the Pluto edit suite and asked him about the work he does at MTN.
Could you tell me about the show that you do?
The name of it is “Community at Work” and it’s an informative show about what’s going on in community. I have another show called “CAW Presents.” For that show we invite community leaders into the studio to talk with our host, Brother Shane Price.
Brother Shane is the visionary behind Community at Work. The Community at Work group started with the March for Peace and Social Justice, which happens every April. The march goes down Broadway and ends at Franklin Middle School. There we have community events, job fairs, art fairs, and education. The march is a call to end the violence and killings in the neighborhood.
Every Tuesday I tape an event at Lucille’s Kitchen called “The Forum.” That show is going to have a time slot of its own soon.
Why is it important to put this information on MTN?
We like to inform people about what’s going on in the neighborhood. A lot of people don’t read the paper, but they do look at TV.
The news media used to come out and film the March for Peace and Social Justice. They’d maybe film five to ten minutes of it and leave, but that doesn’t really show what it’s about. Our vision was to do our own coverage; that way we show the people everything. We want the people
to know the whole event so they don’t get a wrong opinion or somebody’s formed opinion, but so they can form their own opinion, and they can make their own decisions. That’s why we started doing this.
I wasn’t actually trying to get into video production; I got into it by fate. Community at Work got a grant from the Stairstep Foundation to pay for classes at MTN. At a meeting, they asked who would like to take the class. I was turning away, trying to avoid anyone looking at me, but the person asking for volunteers thought I was making gestures and asked, “Leon, are you volunteering?” It embarrassed me, and with guilt I said, “Yeah, OK,” and I got involved in it.
I came here and I was real amazed. I got a lot of good training from the people at MTN. They were willing and eager to work with me to help me learn how to use the equipment. It made me feel like I was a part of a family where people cared about your learning. I’ve been doing this now about six years and I’m still learning.
I want to expose this craft to young people, so they understand that this is a field that they can get into. I want them to know that they don’t just have to sit in front of the TV, but they can analyze it, and learn the craft. MTN is like a home; a lot of people care about you learning your craft. And that’s why I do what I do.
“Community at Work” can be seen on MTN Channel 16 on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. “CAW Presents” can be seen on Channel 16 on Fridays at 8 p.m.