Gregory Mingo, Subject of OSUN Visual Storytelling Case Study, Pardoned by Andrew Cuomo
Mingo has served the greater part of a 50-year sentence at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in New York State for a crime he maintains he did not commit. In fall 2020, Heady and other students enrolled in a Bard College course on human rights advocacy worked with CUNY Law School and the human rights organization WITNESS to create a short video that was filed with Mingo’s official application for clemency. Heady then went on to create a second video with his own production crew that served as a "digital case study" for the OSUN workshop. “Bring Them Home: The Fight for Clemency” provided a less clinical take on the case, including emotional interviews with Mingo and members of his grassroots advocacy group of family, friends, and carceral justice activists.
Heady says the second video allowed him to humanize the arduous process of the appeal for clemency, “giving some of the perspective of Mingo’s family while they were going through this fight and struggling with bureaucracy and feelings of loss and grief.”
Heady says it is difficult to put into words the feelings that the pardon has stirred up, particularly after Mingo's bid for clemency was at a dead end as recently as last winter. When he found out last December that Mingo’s appeal had been denied, “my heart sank at that moment.” When he got the news this time around that Cuomo had granted clemency, he was “overwhelmed, overjoyed” but found it "difficult to process the emotions in such extremes.”
Heady has since gotten some emails from members of Mingo’s advocacy team that included brief comments from family members, who are all struggling to articulate their feelings. “For the family this is something greater than anything they could imagine.”
The OSUN Visual Storytelling Workshop, cotaught by filmmakers Adam Stepan and Sean Steinberg, trains students across OSUN to use inexpensive tools, such as smartphones, to create “digital case studies” of the research and civic engagement projects they undertake for OSUN network courses.
Post Date: 08-26-2021