Demetrius Sadler is Good Faith Media’s Ernest C. Hynds Jr. intern for the spring 2023 semester. He is a recent graduate of the University of Rochester, holding a degree in digital media studies and audio engineering.

1. What story, verse or passage from your faith tradition’s sacred texts has significantly influenced / shaped your life?

I have always been very interested in the story of the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus, right before the trial that eventually led to his execution, stopped to pray, pleading to God to take away this fate that was before him.

It has been extremely profound in my journey in life that Jesus, an example of perfection, still had doubts, fears and mental challenges. I can accept that I can be scared, sad and angry, and not feel chastised for it. Jesus teaches that through prayer, we can learn to fight our internal battles.

2. Who are three people (other than your family) who have shaped your life and worldview? And why?

I have many people who have deeply shaped the way I see the world. Three people that have significantly impacted the way I model my life are: my seventh-grade world history teacher Mr. Mbilishaka, my best friend Tyler, and filmmaker Spike Lee.

Mr. Mbilishaka was the first teacher I ever had that made me enjoy school. His style of teaching was non-traditional – to the point where the school eventually fired him after I left for not adhering to the assigned course material. I am so grateful to have taken his class and to learn my culture in a different and radical but informative way. He really pushed me academically in ways I had never been challenged before, and I am eternally grateful for his teachings.

My best friend Tyler has been my friend since the sixth grade. He has done immeasurable things to help me become a better person, showing up in a caring and loving way. Because that’s the way he shows up, no matter the scenario.

Spike Lee has been my biggest inspiration since I was eight years old and saw “Do the Right Thing.” I went to school the next day and told my teacher I wanted to make movies. Lee’s level of dedication and sheer will under extreme circumstances because of his love for film is one of the most inspirational things I have ever seen. It is my honor to be able to walk in the footsteps of a legend on my own filmmaking journey.

3. List three of your “desert island” books, movies or TV shows.

This is maybe the hardest question yet. I am a fan of all these genres equally, so it’s extremely difficult to narrow down. If I am forced to choose: My favorite film of all time is “Jurassic Park,” my favorite TV series is “Boy Meets World,” and my favorite comfort book is The Great Train Robbery.

4. What is one of the most critical issues people are facing today?

I think the most critical issue facing people today is the lack of empathy. Many of the world’s problems (poverty, violence, crime, war) all seem to stem from a lack of ability to understand and provide support for others’ struggles and pain.

Human beings have been conditioned to be selfish and individualistic, but that ideology is the exact opposite of the togetherness required for all people to be treated equally and fairly. Lack of empathy is a plague on the human race.

5. What are a few of your hobbies?

I am an avid reader and writer. I like collecting records. I also like learning to play instruments, and I am currently learning the bass and baking. I am a movie buff and nerd, so my favorite pastime is watching films and discussing them.

6. If you could freeze your life into an already-lived 10 seconds, what would they be?

About six months ago, I finished a paper titled, “The Black Body,” for an anthropology class on the political assumptions assigned to Black bodies. That was the last assignment I completed in college. Those few seconds after I finished that essay were probably one of the freeing moments I have had in a long time.

I feel sometimes that I have always been doing something or achieving a goal. To know I was finished with something made me feel proud to be able to finally take a breath. I wish I could feel that freedom all the time.

7. Our tagline at Good Faith Media is, “There’s more to tell.” What’s your “more to tell”?

My “more to tell” is about inspiration. I feel like we are put on Earth to help others. I hope that in the coming years that I have the ability to inspire others and provide support and care for people in a meaningful way. There are many dreams and goals I want to achieve in my lifetime, but my overachieving “more to tell” is doing more for others and being a better human being.

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