Upstander’s film - Dawnland - wins Emmy Award - Mishy Lesser

The Upstander Project's film DAWNLAND won the Emmy® award for Outstanding Research at the 40th annual News and Documentary Awards in Fall 2019. Upstander Project learning Director Mishy Lesser (Ed.D. 1996) shared the Emmy® award for Outstanding Research with co-directors Adam Mazo & Ben Pender-Cudlip, and editor Kristen Salerno. Mishy is DAWNLAND's learning director and author of the DAWNLAND Teacher's Guide.


Lesser said, “This award applauds researchers everywhere, those who scour ignored documents and transcripts for clues that tell a fuller story. We kept digging until we found archival images and hidden information, and appreciate the Academy’s recognition of our effort." Another commentator at the event said, "In this moment when the notion of fake news seems to dominate, it is especially heartening to be honored for the years of journalistic research and fact-checking that our team put into DAWNLAND.”


The film’s co-director Adam Mazo said in the acceptance speech, “DAWNLAND is a story of the Wabanaki people - the people of the dawn land. Our film presents testimony from Wabanaki people who were being separated from their families, nations, tribes, and communities by Euro-American settlers.”


Mishy is the Learning Director for the Upstander Project, a small Boston-based organization that helps “bystanders” become “upstanders” through social issue documentary films and related learning resources.