Woke is a narrative feature film written, directed, and edited by staff at the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies (IWES) and created through funding from the U.S. Office of Adolescent Health (OAH). The film explores what it means to be in a healthy relationship and revolves around two college students that are in love yet at a crossroads and facing differing ideas about their future. The series also deals with the topic of mental wellness and the impact of trauma on the growth and well-being of a young person.
Sparked by events in New Orleans and abroad, Woke also strives to reflect current socio-political issues in the popular discourse for young people, specifically the topics of race, gender and power as they affect African American youth. The series deals with race-based incidents and realities, such as the impact of confederate monuments, buildings and flags named after and representing bigotry. One of the other incidences the series touches on is of public symbols of hate and intolerance that have recently been appearing on college campuses.
Founded in 1993, the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies is a national, non-profit public health organization that creates initiatives to heal communities. Through community-driven research programs, training, advocacy and partnerships, IWES helps to build emotional and physical well-being, resilience, and capacity among women, their families, and communities of color, especially those whom are disadvantaged.