Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment


Peter Samuelson, MA, President


Dr. D. Andy Rice, PhD, ASPIRE Fellow at UCLA


The Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment (ASPIRE) partners with universities, community organizations, scholars, and activists to advocate for sustainability and social justice through media-focused teaching and research.  ASPIRE teaches digital media production to undergraduates of all majors to enhance their lifelong capacities to undertake social issue advocacy.

Portrait of a UCLA Commuter

A three phase project spaced over three to four weeks of the course.  First, record and edit an observational video about an individual's commute between home and UCLA.  Second, interview the person on their thoughts about their commute, why they live where they do, the built environment of Southern California, their hopes for the future, and other related topics.  Third, integrate the interview into the observational portrait.  Videos run between 3 and 5 minutes.  Twelve of these portraits entirely shot and edited by students in the class constitute the base material for longer, collectively produced films about commuting issues for campus sustainability groups, local community organizations, and professionals in the fields of urban planning, public health, transit access, and environmental justice.

Hear a case for public transit from Stephanie Pincetl, Director of the California Center for Sustainable Commuinities at UCLA, as she commutes by bus and bike at the end of her work day.  A work in progress by Patricia Ferido and Seol Cho.

UCLA 4th year Jeffrey Kho discusses issues of gentrification, Chinatown, and bicycle policy in relation to his own daily commute. Work in progress by Katie Zalog and Jean Okamoto.
A bus rider and philosophy major at UCLA makes his way through a two transfer commute with a walk at the end. A work in progress by Jessica Rayside and Mark Reyes.
Everything from parking tickets to bike lanes is discussed in this intimate chat between Li and her boyfriend William. A work in progress by Libin Toh and Alex Regalado.

This video captures the commute of a UCLA graduate student biking from Koreatown to Westwood. Watch as he prepares for his ride and responds to the unexpected!  A work in progress by Michael Moses and Andrew Brown.