‘LIFT- Our Connected Humanity’

A Documentary Film Series for PBS Television Ubuntu (Zulu/Xhosa pronunciation: [ùɓúnt’ú]; English: /uˈbʊntuː/ oo-BUUN-too)

"I am what I am because of who we all are” (Leymah Gbowee); “the essence of being human implies our inter-connectedness” (Desmond Tutu); “what is done well by one benefits the good for the whole of humanity”
Nelson Mandela



It seems a situation that comes close to the root of being human: one person needs something; another provides it. But giving and receiving are seldom so simple as that, on either small or large scale.

Groberg Films, in partnership with a PBS-affiliate station, will produce a three-part, six hour mini-series about humanitarian efforts around the globe that work. As the world village both grows and shrinks, the programs will illuminate our interconnected humanity, showing how individuals can tether themselves together to raise up the whole human family.

The series will be about both givers and receivers; it will emphasize lifting humanity. This documentary will emphasize the essential ties of Ubuntu that bind “the Self” and “the Other,” eliminating the Us/Them dichotomy in favor of a vibrant and strengthened We.

These are the success stories of real communities, where real people make the effort to achieve real good for humanity. Basic principles of Lifting will be highlighted from multiple angles of the humanitarian experience, revealing the core elements that connect human beings across economic divides, cultural norms, linguistic barriers, geographic divides and religious beliefs. Background Philanthropy is defined as “that which is done for the love of man.”

When he visited the new democracy called the United States, Alexis de Tocqueville noted the many “voluntary associations” for the public good. He saw them as characteristic of the American spirit. At the turn of the 20th century, the man who was America’s first famed philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, more or less institutionalized philanthropy: he gave away hundreds of millions of dollars to the arts and education, building some 2,500 Carnegie libraries across America. Today philanthropy and humanitarian efforts have myriad faces. Inspiring modern stories reveal that wealth alone is not the only key to lifting society. Admirable individuals across the globe often contribute more than money alone; they make direct efforts to create true progress. They contribute money, time, sweat, and sometimes blood and tears to raise the bar for what humans can become in generations yet to be. This mini-series will also pursue a new angle on philanthropy and humanitarian efforts by highlighting the proven and effective use of resources to make life better for others in our day. Creators of change will be highlighted in the telling of their stories. These social entrepreneurs will be chosen for their innovation in areas of education, health, environment, peace, economics and human rights. Purpose To help us understand why people inherently want to help their fellow man, and to motivate every viewer to find that altruistic self in their own consciousness. Support/Partners Participating Scholars/advisers: (so far) John Hoffmire, Todd Manwaring, Dr. Paul Kerry, Dr. David Wiley, Jacob Allen and many more as this evolves. Participating Institutions: (so far) Oxford University, Brigham Young University, MIT, Community Development Network, World Education and many others as we move forward. Anticipated Results The target of ‘LIFT’ is nationwide PBS Television or equivalent. Through this broad viewership, it is hoped that there will be increased awareness for the giving opportunities of a maturing society and even a new generation of millennials who want to make a difference with discretionary time and treasure.