CLEWISTON — Keianna Summers is passionate about using her voice to impact the community. She says finding your voice gives people so much empowerment. She recently produced a film, titled “Protect Our Women. Free Our Men. Love Our Skin.”, that has gone viral on social media.
“I love showing others my journey, and how you can ultimately overcome any fear,” said Summers, a 21-year-old who studies media communications at Full Sail University. She was born and raised in Clewiston.
“I like the communities in Hendry County the most,” said Summers. “Every community has its own environment, but being a small town we are able to connect our environments together to have a good time.”
She went on to describe her family. “My family has come a long way. I have a strong family who doesn’t give up easily. We are a growing family. We have gone through tons of struggles, separately and together, but we have always persevered through it all and never gave up.”
She said, “I am most proud of my mother. Not to sound cliché, but she has come a long way, too. My mother has paranoid schizophrenia and her story alone is so overwhelming, yet powerful. She has overcome a lot of struggles and now she successfully runs an entire food bank in town.”
As for her experience as a filmmaker, and the creation of a video that has recently gone viral on social media, she explained, “I have never done this before at all. This is my very first personal project for a topic so nationwide.” Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, she said, “I wanted to start by showing that we can ALL stand together. I wanted to show in a film that black and brown people can be apart standing in unity.” She added, “I actually filmed and directed this short film on my own. It was definitely an experience, but the cast who starred in the film helped so much! The open-minded ideas, positivity and passion helped to bring my vision to life.
“In the future, I aspire to be able to speak across all platforms that hold authority. For example, having my voice heard at city hall events, talk shows and much more. I just want to get my story out there,” Summers said. “I hope that it sparks the fire in those who are alone, to know that they are not alone. I am all about using your voice and finding who you are. So, I hope this project continues to reach the platform of others in order to give them the courage to know that their voice matters,” she said, when asked about her hopes for the future.
What else is on the horizon for Summers?
I am currently working as a production manager for a film about black love with my amazing friend Viktoria Caroline. She wants to show the love stories that happen in the black community, without all of the stereotypes others assume — no violence, just love. When she asked me to be on board, I gave my yes immediately! I am also working only own magazine! So hold tight and stay tuned for updates on that!”
When asked what she wished could be changed about the current situation of our nation, she replied: “Currently I would change what we are taught in the education system. We need to teach the truth about racism, systemic racism and social injustice. We need more advocates for human rights issues who can see both sides of an issue. I also would change the way international students are treated. I would grant them full access to scholarships, job opportunities and full education.”
Currently, due to the pandemic, Summers describes the challenges of being isolated: “My biggest challenges would be not being around others. Isolation can be pretty tough on mental health, but FaceTime has helped. Being someone in the entertainment industry, it is also a challenge creating from home.” She also offered this advice, “Wear your mask! Wash your hands! Educate yourself on the ongoing pandemic and fact check everything. If you think you have COVID, stay home and get tested if possible. Also, find what makes you mentally sane! Being in isolation is hard, but do not lose hope! Better days will come!”
To push through hard times, Summers said she turns to her faith, “The gospel, honestly. There have been many times where I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, but worshiping Jesus has helped me to feel peace, even when I don’t see it. Playing worship music, singing, and dancing help me too. Also talking to someone.” She went on to say, “My most defining moment is when I gave my life to Christ. I was a ninth grader when my beloved great-grandpa Shirley passed away. We spent an entire year living with him to help care for him. Right before he died, he would keep pointing at the TV in the hospital saying ‘there. She will be there. People are going to know you all over. There. Right there, many people will see her.’ My mom and aunts kept asking who and he says, ‘Keianna. Hallelujah.’ Shortly after, he passed away.”
Summers said she holds the personal philosophy, “If I die, I will die a legend,” close to her.
She added, “I would like to give a shout-out to my loving Pastor Landy Posadas and Maritza Posadas. They have helped me grow to become who I am today. They never failed to love me, without judgment but with pure love and support! Iglesia Vida Nueva (New Life Church) I love you!”
You can see her video here.