Jamie Moffett

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Jamie Moffett
Jamie Moffett 2007-11-08.jpg
Moffett in Florence, 2007
Occupation Director, producer

Jamie Moffett is an American independent motion picture director, producer, and social activist.

Personal background[edit]

Moffett attended Eastern University.[1] After graduation, Moffett co-founded The Simple Way, a non-profit organization focused on community development in Kensington, Philadelphia along with Shane Claiborne in January 1998.[2][3]


In 2003, Moffett was nominated for a Barrymore Award in Outstanding Theatre Sound Design.[4]

In 2008 Moffett premiered his first feature documentary film, The Ordinary Radicals, in which Moffett followed authors Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw on their 11,000 mile "Jesus for President" book tour.[5][6]

Moffett's second feature, "Return to El Salvador", documents the aftermath of a 12 year civil war and the interplay between the Salvadoran people and the US politics and policies that directly influence the Central American country.[7][8][9] Narrated by Martin Sheen, the film includes an interview of former US ambassador to El Salvador Robert White.,[8][10] and an endorsement by Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Social Activism[edit]

Jamie Moffett has also gained media recognition for his advocacy efforts in the areas of urban poverty, crime reduction, and homelessness. He is the founder of a Philadelphia-based campaign, Kensington Renewal Initiative [1], which was created to garner local and state wide support to decrease drug related crime in the low income, urban Kensington neighborhood. Moffett established his film studio across the street from The Simple Way in Kensington in 2007, and was immediately troubled by the high levels of drug activity within the vacant house behind his studio.[11] Moffett discovered that the house and over 300 other vacant properties in the area were owned by notorious slumlord, Robert (Bob) Coyle.[12]

After a failed attempt to purchase the blighted property from Coyle in 2007,[13] Moffett launched the Kensington Renewal Initiative to make an official, determined effort to lessen the crime correlated to the vacant properties by working to rehabilitate the homes and resell them as owner-occupied properties.[14] In 2012, Coyle was indicted and imprisoned with multiple counts of fraud,[12] and the Kensington Renewal Initiative rehabilitated its first home.[15]

Moffett explains his perspective on why he began Kensington Renewal Initiative, “The light bulb went on for me when I took a look at the city block and thought of it from a movie director’s perspective. The question became, what kind of movie do I want to be in? Do I want to be in a crazy drug-addled, post-apocalyptic nightmare or do I want to be in a great clean environment with plants and trees and flowers and kids playing?" [16]

Moffett's Initiative takes the position that by denying loans to high credit families pursuing lower-value homes, illegal drug activity is perpetuated in dilapidated, owner-vacancy lots in urban neighborhoods like Kensington.[17] Moffett's initiative gained the support of Senator Bob Casey, Jr. when the Senator toured the neighborhood with Moffett in October 2012. The Senator found Moffett's platform be true, and began efforts to ease this burden and increase opportunities for homeownership for low-income families.[18]

Moffett's ultimate goal for Kensington Renewal Initiative is to develop a best-practices model from the Kensington project to be implemented to other urban areas in the United States to decrease crime by increasing the opportunities to establish owner-occupied properties in low income neighborhoods nationwide.[19]


  • Return to El Salvador (2010)
  • The Ordinary Radicals: Special Topics Volume 1 - Heaven and Earth (2009)
  • The Mysterious Death of Marcelo Rivera (2009)
  • Cornel West: A Dialogue on Race in the Church and Society (2008)
  • The Ordinary Radicals (2008)
  • Another World Is Possible: Volume 3 - Creation (2007)
  • Another World Is Possible: Volume 2 - Poverty (2006)
  • Another World Is Possible: Volume 1 - War (2005)


  1. ^ http://www.alumni.eastern.edu/Page.aspx?pid=296
  2. ^ Thompson, Isaiah (March 11, 2009). "Believe it or Not Meet the reluctant face of Kensington's radical Christian movement.". Philadelphia City Paper. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  3. ^ Brekke, Gregg (October–November 2008). "Film Review: 'The Ordinary Radicals' challenges religious priorities". United Church News (United Church of Christ). Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  4. ^ "The Barrymore Awards 2003 Nominees and Recipients". Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
  5. ^ Copley, Rich (October 11, 2008). "A film to surprise atheists". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  6. ^ Marrapodi, Eric; Kate Bolduan (June 29, 2008). "Evangelical movement touts 'Jesus for president'". CNNPolitics.com. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  7. ^ Thompson, Isaiah (July 29, 2009). "Down the Well A Philadelphia documentarian gets sucked into a real El Salvadoran murder mystery.". Philadelphia City Paper. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  8. ^ a b Punter, Jennie (October 7, 2010). "Return to El Salvador: The message is strong but the telling is messy". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  9. ^ Hertz, Barry (October 7, 2010). "Return to El Salvador: Left wing vs. West Wing". The National Post. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  10. ^ Barrett, Greg (February 4, 2010). "Filmmaker Links Bloodshed of El Salvador to Washington (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  11. ^ Whyy.org. RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane. “Three Philly Leaders Innovating Land-Use.” www.whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2013/01/14/innovatert-three-philly-leaders-innovating-land-use/. January 14, 2013. Minute 5:00
  12. ^ a b Thompson, Isaiah. “Two Years After His Real Estate Empire Falls Apart, Slumlord Bob Coyle Indicted.” Philadelphia Citypaper. http://www.citypaper.net/blogs/nakedcity/Two-years-after-his-real-estate-empire-falls-apart-slumlord-Bob-Coyle-indicted.html. March 2, 2012.
  13. ^ Thompson, Isaiah. “Default Lines: A Landlord Dropped a Bomb on Kensington. It Could Happen Again.” www.archives.citypaper.net/articles/2010/06/10/kensington-philadelphia-slumlord-robert-coyle. Philadelphia Citypaper. June 9, 2010.
  14. ^ Eshleman, Hannah; Dillon Mast. “Kensington: The Economics of a Fractured Community.” Philadelphia Neighborhoods. December 6, 2012.
  15. ^ Hoffman, Shane and Miess, Danielle. “Kensington: Renewal Group Provides Housing and Better Community Relations.” May 1, 2013. Philadelphia Neighborhoods. http://philadelphianeighborhoods.com/2013/05/01/kensington-renewal-group-provides-housing-and-better-community-relations/.
  16. ^ Hoffman, Shane and Miess, Danielle. "Kensington: Renewal Group Provides Housing and Better Community Relations." Philadelphia Neighborhoods. May 1, 2013. http://philadelphianeighborhoods.com/2013/05/01/kensington-renewal-group-provides-housing-and-better-community-relations/
  17. ^ CBS-Philly. Anne- Marie Greene. “Buying a Home Still Difficult Even With Record Low Mortgage Rates.” Philadelphia, Jan 30, 2013.
  18. ^ http://www.casey.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=0ac36f5e-8085-4977-91ad-00389195ffb9 . Mellody, April. “Casey Calls for Action to Allow Homeownership and Assist in Economic Recovery.” October 5, 2012. Robert P. Casey.
  19. ^ Krost, Chelsea. "Social Good: Episode 2." April 2013. Minute 13:00. http://chelseakrost.com/watch-episode-1-online-the-chelsea-krost-show/

External links[edit]