Brenda's Story with Q&A | WKAR

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April 28, 2022
7:00pm Eastern Time
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Preview the film before the television broadcast and join in the conversation with members of the filmmaking team and Brenda Pilar-Ayala, who is featured in the film.

"Brenda’s Story: From Undocumented to Documented" documents MSU student Brenda Pilar-Ayala’s citizenship journey as she navigates acculturation issues related to internal and external stresses as an undocumented resident. Brenda is just one of 450,000 college students in the U.S. with undocumented status, many of whom are protected by DACA. Brenda earns scholarships and a place on MSU’s Homecoming Court. As a DREAM-er, Brenda dreams to one day be an American citizen, which — albeit with many deferrals — becomes reality.

"Brenda's Story" received an Award of Excellence in the Broadcast Education Association's Festival of Media Arts - Faculty Video & Film Competition and is the winner of the BEA Diversity & Inclusion Creative Award. J-School Professor Geri Alumit Zeldes directed this award-winning film, made possible with a team of ComArtSci students and funding from MSU's Diversity Research Network.

"Brenda's Story: From Undocumented to Documented" airs on WKAR-TV on Mon., May 2 at 9:00pm.

A presentation of WKAR, MSU Diversity Research Network, MSU Honors College, Julian Samora Research Institute, MSU School of Journalism, and The Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan

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Video Descriptions

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Welcome To OVEE

Julie Sochay welcomes the film screen audience and provides some helpful tips on navigating OVEE.

Brendas Story WKAR 3 H264 Burned Captions.mp4

The Discussion is Next

Thanks for Joining Us

Julie Sochay thanks the film screen audience for joining the event.

Presented by WKAR Public Media

Michigan State University

60 minutes



  • Panelist Avatar
    Ruben Martinez, Ph.D

    Panel Moderator

    Professor, MSU Department of Sociology; Julian Samora Research Institute. He is a specialist on social inequality, race relations, and social change.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Isabel Montemayor-Vazquez, Ph.D


    Executive Director of the Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan. She is a trained socio-cultural anthropologist and former professor. She served as a content expert during the filming of Brenda’s Story.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Brenda Pilar-Ayala


    The subject of the film, Brenda Pilar is a senior majoring in psychology and political science: pre-law in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. Pilar is minoring in Chicano/Latino studies, educational studies, and leadership in integrated learning. She is a Bailey Scholar and a member of the 2021-22 MSU Homecoming Court.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Jason Howard


    Jason Howard is a Michigan State University Media and Information graduate with a minor in Documentary Production as well as Information Technology. For Brenda's story, Jason complied family archival media and edited the documentary together. Jason also directors, produces, and does cinematography for documentaries, works in the lighting department for commercials, music video and fiction, as well as video and engineering technician for broadcast racing series and sporting events.

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.