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Los Angeles, CA – Fifth grader Stephanie Maldonado, from a disadvantaged neighborhood in Long Beach, California , dedicates a summer to explore the world of hard-working migrant farm-harvesting families in the Coachella Valley. She offers visual awareness of plights greater than her own through a short documentary, “The Purepecha: Poorest of the Poor,” set to air soon on TimeWarner's On-Demand.

Having efforts praised by First Lady, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, the film has been invited to screen and feature several panel presentations hosted by AFTRA during Hispanic Heritage Month, the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission, Palm Springs Intl. Short Film Festival, HollyShorts Intl. Film Festival, UC Irvine's Latino Medical Student Assoc., UCLA Chicano Research Dept., Venice Family Clinic, and the Indio Performing Arts Center for the Coachella Valley Latino Intl. Film Festival, among others.

Within the short documentary, Maldonado explores the lives of an indigenous Indian tribe of close to 6,000 seasonal migrant farm working families, originating from Michoacan, Mexico, now residing in a trailer park community called Duroville, just southeast of Los Angeles . She discovers that without adequate living or working conditions, and in one of the most wealthiest tourist destinations and provider of a billion dollar crop industry, the Purepecha continue to fully deliver yearly harvestings of the fruits and vegetables on all American tables.

Assisting her to unveil the social injustices throughout the film, among those exploited and deemed the ‘poorest of the poor’ by David Kelly, L.A. Times Reporter, is Arturo S. Rodriguez III, President of the United Farm Workers, citing that “we all have the responsibility to help out the people making sacrifices to feed us every single day,” Tamara Damante, KESQ-Ch.3 News Anchor/Reporter, Elizabeth Espinosa (KTLA-Ch.5 News Reporter), and several other community leaders teaming together to bring light to this American issue.

In an historic decision, former U.S. District Court Judge, Stephen Larson rules that the trailer park housing the families in third world poverty conditions be repaired or be provided alternative humane living conditions. He astutely observes, "On the one hand, the U.S. portends that the undocumented workers lack legal status while at the same time predicating the economic efficiency of an agricultural industry on their hard work. It appears that the U.S. has once again, established a rather 'peculiar institution' to service our agrarian needs."

Inspiration for the project comes from the work Sister Gabriella Williams, a Dominican Sister of Oakford with the Diocese of San Bernardino, initiates through the non-profit organization, San Jose Community & Bea Main Learning Center providing high quality services, childcare, computer and educational resource programs positively impacting life choices and development for the Purepecha families.

The documentary is produced and directed by Cheryl Quintana Leader (a UCLA, Leadership America, Leadership California, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality Leadership Institute & the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership Graduate) via INDIVISION2000 Productions, an award-winning production company creating educational media in English/Spanish for the Latino community. Recent productions include, "The Human Rights Agenda" for The Intl. Assoc. of Official Human Rights Agencies; "Healthy Homes" for the City of Long Beach educating youth and their families on environmental hazards, asthma triggers and home safety; and, Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty," a 16-week on-line empowerment series for women highlighting Financial Literacy, Authentic Voice & Advocacy, Public Speaking & Negotiation.

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