Extending the Link views each of its documentaries as a vehicle for social change; inspiring actions that our world desperately needs. Through thought provoking film ETL strives to promote sustained social justice initiatives both at home and abroad.


ETL School Curriculum

This year, we bring ETL to the classroom. The Act Local team worked together to create curriculum that brings ETL’s mission to high school students. The curriculum consists of a five day unit plan that involves discussion of this years documentary and activities to motivate students to address social justice issues within their own community. Through this curriculum, students will be able to spotlight issues in their own communities through the creation of their own documentary.


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 Water Connectivity

(Nibi Eteg - 2018)

By focusing on the vastly diverse cultural aspects of water, ETL coordinated a “Water Week,” that highlighted the importance of water in every individual’s physical, spiritual, and cultural life. Team members challenged students, staff, and faculty to point out all the ways that water affects their own being as well as how they would continue to take care of the world’s most important resource.


Computer Drives

(Luen Hai - 2017)

ETL hosted a tech dump at the College of Saint Benedict to collect student’s electronic waste and ensure they were ethically recycled. They also held a computer drive to collect donations for PC’s for People, which provides computers for low-income individuals and families.  


Community Supported Agriculture - CSA

(Ubumwe - 2016)

ETL partnered with the Common Ground Garden at the College of Saint Benedict to establish a student Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Students are able to purchase shares to receive fresh garden vegetables either weekly or biweekly. The intent is to give the garden consistent income and connect students to the local agriculture in our community.


Knowing one’s heritage

(Obbasa Ain Gállit - 2015)

After the production of their 8th film, Extending the Link strived to emphasize the importance of knowing one's heritage to the students at St. Ben's and St. John's. Extending the Link put up a map of famous places in Minnesota with the original meaning of the words, many of which originate from different Native American languages. In addition to the visual display, Extending the Link partnered with Intercultural and International Students Service to provide Bennies and Johnnies with the opportunity to attend the 43rd annual Mahkato Wacipi, a celebration of local indigenous heritage in Mankato, Minnesota. In the academic arena, Extending the Link partnered with Sociology Professor Jessica O’Reilly by designing course material for a unit on indigenous populations taught in her Introduction to Anthropology Class.


Access to Education

(Ger Kler - 2014)

ETL awarded one $1,000 and two $500 merit-based scholarships to Karen students who are pursuing higher education. ETL also collaborated with the Admissions Offices at CSB/SJU to set up campus visits/weekend stays for interested Karen students and families, strengthened relations between CSB/SJU and the Karen people of Minnesota, and presented the documentary to College Possible to inform them of issues faced by the Karen population they serve.


Art Therapy

(Khulla - 2013)

The team worked with Minneapolis-based groups, such as Spectrum and the National Association of Mental Illness, to host an art gallery on campus. The gallery featured the work of individuals living with mental health illness as well as bringing individuals to campus to speak about their struggles with mental illness and society’s treatment of them. In addition, as a result of ETL’s work in Kolkata with the non-profit Anajali, CSB/SJU students


Student Internships

(Obnova - 2012)

As a result of Obnova, more individuals have been informed about summer internship opportunities with NGO's in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and since the film’s release, dozens of CSB/SJU students have participated in various internships. In 2013 an article written by ETL alum, Rachel Mullin, was published in a national Bosnian magazine regarding how youth can get involved in changing their communities and society.


Social Ventures 

(Pragati Nepal - 2011)

Following the film, goods from Padhma Creations, a social venture effort to provide shelter and training in knitting and business management to victims of trafficking became available in the campus bookstores. To manage this on-campus initiative student interns were recruited through CSB/SJU Career Services, and ETL's work with Padhma Creations was featured in The New York Times and on


Student Partnerships

(Essubi - 2010)

ETL partnered with the Uganda Rural Fund and Hope Academy to raise $1,600 for teachers' salaries. Additionally, ETL partnered with Students in Free Enterprise (a student-run group on campus), to sell jewelry made by the Ugandan children. Inspired by ETL's documentary, a group of CSB/SJU students made a return trip to Hope Academy in 2013 to begin a piggery at the academy in order to improve the community and aid it in becoming more self-sufficient.

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(Del Micro al Cambio - 2009)

Upon return to campus, ETL helped to
support Banco Esperanza, a women's micro lending project in Cold Spring, MN that is now operated by Casa Guadalupe to work with Mexican American women in the local area.


 Fair Trade Coffee

(Somos de Café - 2008)

ETL successfully inspired two-student run coffee shops on campus to serve fair-trade coffee.