Mozo to Present Film On Jamaican Apple Pickers

After keeping a residence in the relatively homogenous state of Vermont, Chair of the Spanish Department Emilio Mozo received a Kenan Grant to research and produce a film that discusses an influx of blacks in the New England state during the summer. As Mr. Mozo noted, the reason he made this film was “to expose the relationship that has evolved between the Jamaicans and the Vermonters.” His film is entitled Fruits of Labor. Mr. Mozo’s Fruits of Labor will be shown to faculty members this Sunday, at which point it will be decided when it would be best to show the film to the student body. A prospective date for a school-wide showing is on Martin Luther King Jr. Day during Black Arts weekend. The movie works to show the appreciation and love the two societies reserve for one another and “not to expose oppression,” Mr. Mozo said. The farmers appreciate the painstaking labor that Jamaicans provide, for they are considered to be the saviors of the Vermont apple industry. The Jamaicans, in return, appreciate the generous wages which far exceed the Jamaican average annual income. The movie also deals with the waning apple industry and the dwindling numbers of Jamaican farmers in Vermont. Vermont relies heavily upon the apple industry; however, virtually none of the farmers want to pick the apples form the trees. In response, the federal government supports a program that allows Jamaican farmers to legally enter the state of Vermont to pick apples in return for wages. The government pays for the airfare and shelter, and then sets the wages, which the Vermont farmers then pay. The program has been in existence for over twenty years now. The Jamaican farmers are not illegal immigrants and can make much more money in the three months they visit the US than could annually back in Jamaica. The Jamaicans live within the community and enjoy a special relationship with their employers, as they return for multiple years. One would expect racism and intolerance to exist between the two groups, but none is prevalent. Both the white and black farmers treat each other with respect. With increases in apple production in other states and in countries such as China, the Vermont apple trade, along with this government program, is suffering. The movie primarily tries to convey the compassion that can exist between two groups of people from completely different backgrounds. Mr. Mozo applied for a Kenan Grant last January to assist him with this endeavor. With the funds, he was able to hire a cameraman, Michael Gleason, and also was able to professionally edit the footage. He has used previous grant funds to aid him in projects; he has won it five different times. He once traveled to Cambridge, England to study Shakespearean plays for his book Shakespeare Tropical, which adds a tropical twist to Shakespeare’s classics. He has also used money to travel to Spain in order to research a book of short stories. The William R. Kenan Charitable Trust awards grants to approximately fourteen to twenty-five faculty members each year to allow them to pursue artistic endeavors in the summer. As opposed to the Abbot Grants- which allow teachers and students to use the funds for the betterment of the school, classrooms, and general student body- the Kenan Grants focus on specifically the faculty. They allow the teachers to engage in any scholarly or creative projects over the summer. The deciding panel consists of three to five members from outside Phillips Academy who are selected by the current Kenan Grant commissioners Chair of the Chemistry Department Cristina Kerekes and Instructor in Spanish John Maier. The Kenan family no longer takes part in the process. The teachers must then submit their applications and essays the panel for approval. The applications are accepted depending on the strength of the essays and the genuine interest of the applicant to pursue his or her project. Grant winners then receive anywhere from $250-$5000 from the trust, as opposed to the Abbot grants which do not have a limit. Once the project has been completed, the teachers must present their material in some way: either through an article in a journal, a presentation, or show. This year fourteen grants were awarded totaling to about $50,000. Other faculty members will use the grants to explore topics of interest to them. Instructor in Theatre Bruce Bacon to take a walking tour of Scotland, Instructor in Math Don Barry to make a compilation of book material for mathematical contests, Instructor in English Carole Braverman to support her novel in progress, Original Tenants. Also, Mark Broomfield will explore the culture of dance in London, Instructor in Math Nikki Cleare will research the folklore of Turks and Caicos in comparison with that of Bahamas, Head of the Division of World Languages Margarita Curtis will attend the 8th Conference of the ISSEI, and Instructor in Math Cheng-yu Huang plans on studying the stock exchanging in today’s China. Nutritionist Aggie Kip and disability management. Aya Murata will research her grandmother’s life to expand her master’s thesis into a book, Head of the Division of Natural Sciences John Rogers will travel within East Africa to explore the natural world, Instructor in Art Emily Trespas will attend a drawing workshop. Instructor in Art Steve Wicks will create a collection of video postcards while Greg Wilkin will write a screenplay.