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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Quiet on the (Presbyterian Center) set


The Trailblazers Program presents a unique opportunity for young people

September 2, 2023

Participants in the Trailblazers Program will learn about video production from Brelin Tilford and others. (Photo by Samuel Cardine, Jr.)

A recent Monday morning saw conference rooms 1A and 1B at the Presbyterian Center transformed into a movie location. About 16 young people gathered to work on creating videos as part of the Trailblazers Program.

The Trailblazers Program is the realized dream of Brelin Tilford, the chief executive officer of Media Pros Production, a Louisville-based production company. Tilford, who has helped with audio-visuals at General Assembly and other Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) events, conceived of Trailblazers as an environment where young people can work with creative adults to build a vision and to learn about expressing that vision in video format.

In addition to Media Pros Production, Louisville’s Roots 101 African-American Museum and the Louisville Central Community Center are co-sponsors of the program. As Ruling Elder Kathy Lueckert, president of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation notes, “Working as a partner in the Trailblazers Program provides another opportunity for the Presbyterian Center to engage with the Louisville community. We are delighted to host and support this important event.”

Creating at the Trailblazers Program involves some young people in rehearsing the content and some young people in working on the production. (Photo by Samuel Cardine, Jr.)

The program looks at five key events from 1963: the assassination of Medgar Evers; the March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C.; the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama; the Chicago School boycott; and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Participants are asked to reflect on these events on their 60th anniversaries and make connections to more recent events in Louisville, such as the March 13, 2020, killing of Breonna Taylor and the protests and calls for accountability that followed and the April 10 shootings at the Old National Bank.

Focusing on those events, the young people create a video. The younger participants are the actors. The older participants serve as the production crew.

For Tilford, the Trailblazers Program is a family matter. It builds on the legacy of his grandfather, who also worked in video production and mentored young people.

The weeklong program helps young people connect with one another and with Black creatives in the Louisville community. Tilford hopes the program will inspire the young people about the importance of telling their stories, to encourage them to tell their stories, and to provide introductory tools and techniques for telling their stories.

Who tells the story matters. Recently at the Presbyterian Center, the Trailblazers Program equipped young people to be storytellers.

Mark Koenig, Communications Specialist, Administrative Services Group, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus: Trailblazers Program

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Chris Lega, Manager, General Ledger Office, Finance & Accounting, Administrative Services Group (A Corp
Shanea Leonard, Director, Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministry, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Let us pray

O God, your Creation is young and old. Your people are ready for your gifts at all ages and stages in their lives. Today we give thanks for the gift of young faith, young leadership and relationships with our young people. Amen.