Why Are You You?

Stow, Massachusetts | Film Feature

Documentary, History

Lindsay LaPointe

1 Campaigns | Massachusetts, United States

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This campaign raised $6,310 for development. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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This documentary explores the history of the YRUU community where adolescents discovered their true selves and were empowered to incite positive change in the world. Decades after the program's inception, they reflect on how being a part of the program has shaped them and informed their lives.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Lindsay Caddle LaPointe is a connector who brings many voices together through oral histories and shared experiences. Her previous documentary Making Mill Town won multiple awards and was shown on PBS Maine. Through editing, dance and community work; her efforts in making often ties back to YRUU.

The Story


SYNAPSE Vol. XV, Issue 1, Spring 1997

Empowerment, acceptance, tolerance, commitment to social justice – these were cornerstones of the Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) program. YRUU is part of a long history of youth empowered movements from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), and the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) This program ran from 1983 to 2008. 

And although YRUU has not existed for over thirteen years, the lessons the youth learned remain relevant and important today.


As someone who grew up in the program, Lindsay Caddle LaPointe realized that no concrete documentation existed for YRUU. By telling the full story of those unique years, she hopes to rekindle the feelings that former participants had and inspire empowerment and acceptance in new generations.


SYNAPSE Vol. I, Issue 3, Fall 1983


Many former YRUU members have fond memories of the program and are eager to share their experiences. Two of them, Charise Sowells and Dawn Fleming MacKechnie, have formed a small team with Lindsay to work on the documentary. This is a personal experience for all three as they revisit their memories of that time.


But the stories themselves are coming from many others. When Lindsay sent out a survey to see who would be interested in the documentary, she received about 200 responses in two months, with more coming in daily. 


The team is now collecting the images and stories from these respondents to use for the project, and they also plan to conduct interviews with former YRUU members.


SYNAPSE Vol. XI, Issue 2, Winter 1993

The Right Time

The isolation of the pandemic and the unrest from social justice issues makes this a perfect time to revisit a period when so many misfit youth finally found a place where they could belong. This documentary can serve as a reminder of how we’re all connected, and it can encourage everyone to work toward a goal of equality and acceptance. 


YRUU welcomed youth from all over the United States and Canada, and many remember it as the only place where they could truly be themselves. So often, these youth didn’t fit in at school, but as part of YRUU, they had so many more opportunities. 


To be leaders. To search for what they believed was true. To experience deep connections with others.


Those connections and the sense of belonging helped save lives, especially for those who identify as LGBTQ. YRUU showed that youth have strong voices and can make change.


That example is vital to remember since today’s youth have so many challenges. Knowing that they can make a difference will empower them in their work.


SYNAPSE Vol. II, Issue 2,  Winter 1984


Telling It All

YRUU was an inclusive program, but it was not without its struggles. In addition to some internal challenges, older adults in the Unitarian Universalist Association often did not understand what the program was, or what was lost when YRUU ended. 


We want to tell it all, to show exactly what went on at these conferences when youth gathered. We hope to empower the youth of this religion again. We want them to see what is possible. 


As part of this goal, we plan to visit youth groups. This will give us an opportunity to collect footage for the project, but it will also allow us to teach the current youth some of the games and circle worship activities practiced by YRUU. They’ll be able to understand YRUU through that first-hand experience. 


SYNAPSE Vol. XVIII, Issue 2,  Fall 2000

Our Goals

Our goal is to present this project in the spring of 2023, 40 years after YRUU began.

SYNAPSE Vol. XIII, Issue 2,  Fall 1995


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Costs $600

Compensation for researchers and supplies.


Costs $1,000

Promotion, email account setup, social media, website management, Zoom, etc.


Costs $2,250

Initial compensation for the three Executive Producers.

Membership Fee

Costs $250

Fractured Atlas fiscal sponsorship.


Costs $700

Compensation for grantwriters.


Costs $750

Initial compensation for Director.


Costs $250

Initial fees for personnel working to keep everything organized.

Legal Consultation

Costs $500

A resource for protecting the project and for those involved.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

We are a combination of people who A) have known each other for years and B) have met each other through this project. All of us have the common thread of being involved in YRUU as young people.  We come from different facets of the art world such as: writing, graphic design, dance, photography, drawing, music composition, and video editing. 

All of us have dedicated our lives to collaborating and community building. So much of this project inolves these two aspects. We thank those who have trusted in us and supported this project thus far. 


Director and Executive Producer: Lindsay Caddle LaPointe dancer, teacher, choreographer, videographer and an award winning video editor. 

Lindsay Caddle LaPointe received her bachelor of arts degree in Dance/Performance from Roger Williams University and her master’s degree in dance and technology from The Ohio State University’s department of dance.

In 2010 she started her own video production company, Linden Tree Productions [LTP], that provides video support to dancers and artists. LTP has provided video support for the The Boston Foundation Live Arts Boston Grant recipients, The Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Center for the Arts' Dance Residencies and Run of the Mills, The Dance Complex, Bebe Miller Company, Wondertwins, and KAIROS Dance Theater. LTP’s documentary, Making Mill Town, was awarded a gold award from Spotlight Documentary Film Awards and 2nd place in editing from the Utah Dance Film Festival.

​She has taught dance at The Ohio State University, Ohio University, Muskingum University and Regis College. Currently she teaches dance and film classes at Dean College and is the Media Supervisor for the Bates Dance Festival during the summers. She has been a dance company member in Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion since 2014.


Executive Producer: Dawn (Fleming) MacKechnie: mover, maker, healer, helper

Dawn (Fleming) MacKechnie is an artist who has had a career in graphic design since 2005. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts with a concentration of graphic design from Framingham State College. She is an active Unitarian Universalist where she has run a successful young adult group and was a youth advisor in her home church of First Parish Church, Duxbury, MA. She became certified in New Reiki in 2017 and has taken many classes to develop her energy work.

Dawn is passionate about finding and sharing relationships within spirituality and the arts (including visual, movement, song and beyond) to deepen her spiritual practices and connect heart, mind, body and spirit. Through this passion she has found a calling to create and share mandalas. (Instagram account: @mamadawns_mandalas)


Development Team and Composer: Charise Sowells producer, director, composer, exhibited photographer, and award-winning writer.

Charise Sowells is a multifaceted storyteller whose scripts and songs have won awards. She holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she graduated with academic honors and studied writing for the stage and screen as well as production, acting, vocal performance, and the African Diaspora. After attending Sundance in 2008, she started Unabashed Productions as a way to independently release the variety of projects she was producing into the world.

Her thesis play was adapted into a feature film. A one act play she wrote about being mixed had a sold out world premiere at the Santa Monica Playhouse leading to an encore run the following month. Two of her musical releases have been on the FYC ballot for Grammy nomination consideration. Her work has been featured by NPR, Ukulele Magazine, SF Weekly, and a myriad of other media outlets. Charise’s music has been in films and played on the radio internationally. She has performed across the US, in Canada, and abroad. The PSA she made about underage sex trafficking was added to the Channel Austin rotation. Her fine art photography was exhibited at Betti Ono. 

In addition to her own creative endeavors, Charise has worked on a vast array of productions. As a lifelong collaborator, she is passionate about helping her fellow artists see a great idea through to fruition however she is able. As her company motto says, “Don’t just think outside the box, live there.”

Current Team