University of Connecticut undergraduate music education major Brianna Chance won the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network scholarship in 2021 and created a short documentary series about homelessness and housing insecurity that was funded with the scholarship.
The scholarship was through the Office of Undergraduate Research and awarded up to $10,000 to one female student in their sophomore year who created a project that they were passionate about. Chance applied her sophomore year and was awarded the scholarship to start the documentary her junior year.
“I decided to focus primarily on housing insecurity and homelessness because when I came to UConn I did not have stable housing when I was outside of UConn, I was kind of staying on people’s couch going from house to house when I could,” Chance said.
Chance said she wanted to do more with her passion for homelessness and housing insecurity, and her BOLD advisor proposed the idea to do a networking event for the college community. She expressed that she wanted examine the intersection of art and social justice even though she had never had the opportunity to get behind a camera before.
“What if I created a documentary that interviews people that graduated from UConn or are currently going to UConn that face housing insecurity and homeless and recorded those interviews and then create a storyline for it,” Chance said.
Chance said her documentary series was broken up into 10-minute-long episodes based on interviews she conducted. She said she has also created a magazine called Housing (IN) Justice that is meant to transcribe the interviews so people can read them at their own pace.
“This documentary showing — this event where we get to see people and their real reactions in real time — is definitely going to open up some conversation about homelessness in college,” Chance said.
On Nov. 6 at 5 p.m., there will be a public screening of Chance’s documentary at the Dodd Center for Human Rights. The event is surrounding the development of the series as a whole and a Q&A session for the audience to engage with Chance. She said she wants people to ask questions and feel curious and have a welcoming space for people to experience emotions of the speakers in the documentary, as well as ask questions about homelessness.