Canyon Vista students create video series to curb stereotypes

Canyon Vista Middle School newsmedia students Maggie Findell and Emma Monreal are aiming to curb stereotypes within the school with their new video series, Everyday Canyon Vista.

Findell and Monreal, both eighth-grade students who contribute to the Canyon Echoes student news website, started the series after noticing students sharing negative stereotypes about various races, genders and religions.

“We created Everyday Canyon Vista to give a voice to students who may not always stick up for themselves,” Monreal said. “The project gives students an opportunity to talk about races, genders or religions that they identify with and address those stereotypes.”

The pair have created four videos, consisting of students speaking about being Muslim, Latino, African-American and a girl. One additional video will be released this year showcasing Asian students.

“The videos also have students talking about who they are in addition to being a certain race, gender or religion,” Findell said. “After we filmed the first video, we knew we wanted it to continue.”

Findell and Monreal run the video series from start to finish and planned the project by sending out surveys to students. Interviewees are invited to be showcased on the videos, which are all filmed after school and edited during newsmedia class.

“There are a lot of issues that students don’t talk to a teacher about in the classroom, for instance bullying and stereotyping,” Wilkinson said. “Everyday Canyon Vista is completely student created. They’re being real and honest and it’s starting important conversations.”