"The Future Is..." is a mini-series all about Columbia alumnae who are the leaders of today and creators of tomorrow. This podcast is produced by Shanna Crumley '18SIPA and the Columbia Alumni Association.
When seventeen-year-old Julia Bacha '03GS arrived at Columbia, she had no idea that she would become a filmmaker, much less one far away in the Middle East. Yet that's how Bacha works best: by following her instincts. That journalistic instinct is what led her on a journey from studying Middle Eastern history at Columbia to advocating for justice as an award-winning documentary filmmaker.
Bacha has served 12 years as the creative director at Just Vision, a nonprofit that documents the work of Israelis and Palestinians using nonviolent resistance to the occupation to bring freedom, dignity, and equality to both societies. As part of her advocacy, she has also given two TED talks about women and nonviolence in conflict and shown her work at the Sundance, Berlin, and Tribeca film festivals.
Bacha's work has been profiled by BBC, HBO, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, and The Economist, and screened at widely diverse settings, from Palestinian refugee camps and villages to the halls of the American Congress and European Parliament. Her TED talk, "Pay Attention to Nonviolence," was selected as one of the best talks of 2011 by TED curators and has been viewed by over half a million people.Read more
A'Lelia Bundles' story is one of timing and changing tides. Bundles, a 1976 Journalism School alumna, comes from a long line of successful, well-known women, including one of the first African American self-made millionaires and a Harlem Renaissance darling. But rather than go into the family business, Bundles took her own path—in 1960, she discovered her calling as a writer at the ripe old age of eight, during an era of big changes.
For our first episode in the The Future Is... mini-series, we're honored to feature Bundles, a University Trustee, veteran journalist, and author.
She spent over 30 years as a producer and executive for NBC News and ABC News. She's currently writing her fifth book, The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance, which will be released in the next couple of years. The biography that Bundles wrote about her great-great-grandmother, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker, was recently optioned for a television series featuring Oscar award-winner, Octavia Spencer, in the lead role.
In addition to writing, Bundles is active as the chairman of the board of the National Archives Foundation and the president of her family's historical archives. She serves on the advisory boards of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study's Schlesinger Library at Harvard and the March on Washington Film Festival.
Bundles has delivered keynote addresses and served as master of ceremonies at dozens of events, book festivals, and conferences at Harvard, London City Hall, the National Archives, and more, and on all the major television and radio networks, including ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, PBS, and NPR.
For more information about Bundles' career and writing, visit http://www.aleliabundles.com.