Nathan Araya's "Growing Up In America" explores mental health in minority communities

Nathan Araya’s “Growing Up In America” explores mental health in minority communities

In 2014, Ethiopian-American TV-film producer and digital storyteller, Nathan Araya, was nominated for Best Documentary of the year by the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for  “Sincerely, Ethiopia”; he was up against four other documentaries from Mali, Nigeria and South Africa. His documentary manifestly shun a positive light on Ethiopian peoples and culture. And as someone whose “parents migrated from Ethiopia to the US with hope for education and opportunity” —as he wrote on ShadowandAct in 2017— Araya has developed an unshakable optimistic attitude towards his native country, dedicating his life’s purpose to improving lives around the world through his compelling stories of life and culture.

It’s been five years since that AMAA nomination and five years of documenting stories as a single film—including “The Diaspora Journal” (2017)— now Araya is looking towards releasing a documentary series, which will express more in a number of events with many different people in a related context. It is titled “Growing Up In America” and it will dissect the minority communities in America by showcasing their cultures and filming conversations within their own communities.

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The Official Trailer for Episode 1 of “Growing Up In America.” is out NOW! This particular episode was shot in #Austin #Texas and is on the topic of #MentalHealth . For those that may not be aware, “Growing Up In America” is my new purpose-project; a travel-based documentary series exploring cities, cultures and conversation surrounding minority communities in America. . I created this first documentary episode on mental health hoping that it would accomplish three things; 1. Start a conversation on mental health, 2. Release the fear around mental health care within minority communities and 3. Inform the community on opportunities for therapy, counseling and self-care through resource sharing. . This new film project is a small step for all of us to lead in the right direction; to end the silence and voice the silent struggles that hold many in fear, anxiety, depression, trauma, and substance abuse. We may not be able to end the problem of mental health tomorrow, but we can end the silence today. . In addition to this new and exciting trailer release, we are launching a National Film Screening and Community Discussion Tour on Mental Health VERY SOON!. Currently solidifying dates, partners & sponsors. If you are interested in hosting a “Growing Up In America” Documentary + Discussion Event at your school, community or city, hit me up directly at NateAraya@gmail.com . Shot by @rubenfilms Producer @moyo3k Featuring @traethebarber214 @evelynfromtheinternets @_bnez_ @ccwilcoxson @camille_khali Chris Hills @beholdmelat . #GrowingUpInAmerica #MentalHealthIsWealth #FilmTrailer #Episode1 #RepresentationMatters

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As seen in the one minute trailer for the first episode, Araya visits a local barbershop in Austin, Texas, engaging young adults about mental health. The episode will also feature an interview with Psychiatric Nurse, Ledet Muleta, from the National Institute of Mental Health, who will highlight the plight of the black immigrant’s mental health. Araya is set to release the series on his website and YouTube page soon.

Araya writes beneath his Youtube page, where the trailer for the first episode resides,

I created this first documentary episode on mental health hoping that it would accomplish three things. 1.START A CONVERSATION on mental health, 2. RELEASE THE FEAR around mental health care within minority communities and INFORM THE COMMUNITY on opportunities for therapy, counseling and self-care through resource sharing.

While we are on the look out for the full episode of “Growing Up In America”, check out the trailer below.

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Fisayo is a journalist in search of words. Tweet at her @fisvyo


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Fisayo is a journalist who thinks writing is hard and reading too. But her journey somewhere reveals, words are like pawns on chessboard when writing. She wants to create and share with the world. See the world, experience and communicate these experiences. Tweet at her @fisvyo

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