a narrative justice fellowship
for revolutionary filmmakers


"Once a city becomes unaffordable, it cannot go back"

- Christopher Jordan, Co-Director of Fab 5 - Tacoma, WA


The iMPACT LENS Experience


There’s No Place Like HILLTOPIA

combatting gentrification, displacement and erasure in Hilltop

iMPACT LENS presents HILLTOPIA; a cinematic journey through a once predominantly Black neighborhood called Hilltop in Tacoma, WA located on the stolen ancestral lands of the Puyallup people and Coast Salish Territories.

Through an impact lens, we recognize that although development is necessary for communities to evolve, the gentrification that often happens as a result threatens the wellbeing and cultural legacies of this diverse Pacific Northwest community through rapid-displacement leading to chronic housing and food insecurity, racist over policing, and the systematic erasure of Black people, businesses and culture. 

Hilltop’s reputation for being plagued by gang violence, addiction, and poverty has made the neighborhood vulnerable to gentrification for decades. Through trauma informed filmmaking, in partnership with local BIPoC residents, we bear witness to a community reclaiming agency over its origin story and the legacy of cultural resilience and resistance to oppression Hilltopians leave to future generations. 


Words by @impactlenslab 2021 Fellows
Images by @tacomalibrary Digital Archives
Video by devon de Leña @wild_endevors

Welcome To Hilltop

"When we tell our own
stories, the possibility
is freedom on a level
that most of us aren't
often afforded."

Jamika "Jam" Scott - 2021 iMPACT LENS Fellow


"Us being able to tell our own stories is where the power really comes from"

- Adriane Wilson - 2021 iMPACT LENS Fellow


Funded in part by Tacoma Creates


Contact Us

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iMPACT LENS is an initiative of Cathartic Muse and is

fiscally sponsored by Shunpike