Truth Aid produces multimedia content about the social barriers to well being and translates research into action. Our content creates shared value across diverse stakeholders through the use of compelling narratives and ethnographic research while inspiring and empowering communities to affect social change. We work through academic affiliations, grant funded initiatives, and as a fee-for-service consultancy. Our multimedia projects have been funded by Independent Television Service (ITVS), The Righteous Persons Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, San Francisco Federation Endowment Fund, and others.

Our History

Our efforts were born out of the experience of physicians working to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in the South Bronx. We came to realize that conversations about HIV prevention had to start with love, trust, identity, abuse, and support in order to make safe sex a reality. Our efforts to uncover this missing dialogue led us to create new communication strategies to teach about social barriers to well-being that hinged on interdisciplinary methods.

The two principals, Mehret Mandefro and Lacey Schwartz, met during graduate school at Harvard while studying medicine and law respectively. Early in their careers they realized that the emerging issues in their respective disciplines were converging and required integrated approaches. Their collective efforts to think across boundaries and cultivate innovative solutions to tough problems led to Truth Aid.

OUR WORK

We produce creative content and educational programming that challenges the world to think different. Through insight consultancy and social innovation, Truth Aid leverages interdisciplinary thought to amplify the impact individuals and organizations can make in their community.

Our services include:

  • Media production and consulting: We are available to produce media projects from conception to distribution or can be brought in to consult on specific elements of a project. Our media production services include: content design and management, script evaluation, writing film and television proposals/ treatments, copy and script writing, creating and monitoring budgets and schedules, rights acquisitions, fundraising and grant writing, production and post-production management. Our creative consulting services include: strategic guidance, concept development and pitching, creating and implementing legal business structure, drafting and negotiating legal agreements (development, production, distribution and talent agreements) and all facets of project management.

  • Outreach: Educational content, programming and audience engagement;

  • Research and analysis; and

  • Strategic guidance

Our films have screened at festivals all around the world and appeared on national broadcast channels that include:

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Our team

Mehret Mandefro

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Mehret Mandefro is an award-winning writer/ producer/ director and co-founder of the multimedia production company Truth Aid.  Mehret is a physician and anthropologist who uses her interdisciplinary training as the foundation to approach social issues she has chosen to tackle as an artist and filmmaker.  Mehret produced and co-wrote the critically acclaimed feature documentary Little White Lie, which was a top-rated broadcast on PBS’s Emmy-award winning series Independent Lens, and produced the Ethiopian narrative feature film Difret which was the first film to win audience awards at both the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. She subsequently directed and produced the viral digital series The Loving Generation for Topic.com.  Mehret is an alum of film programs including the Sundance Institute and American Film Showcase.  Mehret recently served as Executive Producer of Kana Television, Ethiopia’s largest entertainment channel and helped launch their original content department. She was the show runner for Ethiopia’s first teen drama series, Yegna, which was focused on girls’ empowerment and behavior change. She also recently served as Executive Producer of the feature film Sweetness in the Belly starring Dakota Fanning and Yayha Abdul-Mateen which had its world premiere in 2019 at Toronto International Film Festival. She is also a sought-after speaker and champion for the development of the creative industries in sub-Saharan African and co-facilitated the U.S. Department of States’ first Creative Producers’ Lab for African filmmakers in Cape Town, South Africa.  Other issues she speaks on include the social impact of media and work/family balance. Mehret has a BA in Anthropology from Harvard University, an MD from Harvard Medical School, a MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as a Fulbright Scholar, and a PhD in Cultural and Visual Anthropology from Temple University. 

LACEY SCHWARTZ

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Lacey Schwartz Delgado is an award-winning producer/ writer/ director/ outreach strategist who draws on her interdisciplinary background to create compelling stories that span documentary and fiction and work with innovative organizations and brands.  She is co-founder of the production company Truth Aid, which produces inspiring and empowering multi-media content to affect social change and Director of Outreach for Be’chol Lashon, which works around issues of racial, ethnic and cultural diversity in the Jewish community. Schwartz Delgado directed, produced and co-wrote the critically acclaimed documentary Little White Lie, a top-rated broadcast on PBS’s “Independent Lens” which has been distributed worldwide, including screenings with the US State Department in Brasil, Israel and Taiwan.  She also executive produced the narrative film Difret the first film to win audience awards at both the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. She also directed and produced the viral digital series The Loving Generation for Topic.com.  Lacey is an alum of many film and community programs including the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute and American Film Showcase. She also speaks publicly around the world on issues of social impact, inclusivity and work/family dynamics. Lacey’s work stems from the belief that storytelling is the most powerful tool we can use to bridge societal divides in our world. Integral to her work is the development of public engagement campaigns that engage audiences to build on lessons learned in their films from inception to impact. A native of Woodstock, NY and resident of Rhinebeck, NY, Schwartz Delgado has a BA from Georgetown University, a JD from Harvard University and is a member of the New York State bar.