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Portal In Richmond Connects Community To The World, Watch New Show September 21

gold shipping container
There are 40+ Portals around the world outfitted with streaming technology so someone in Richmond could step inside the gold shipping container and speak with a stranger in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo courtesy of Passion Projects.

Watch Passion Projects

Monday, September 21 at 9 p.m. on VPM PBS

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In 2014, two international journalists, Amar Bakshi and Michelle Moghtader, had a thought after having spent years traveling the globe and writing stories for an American audience about the far off places they visited and the interesting people they met along the way: what if you could create direct conversation between people on opposite sides of the world by building a space that made them feel like they were actually in the same room together?


In the premiere episode of Passion Projects, a docuseries about turning passion into purpose and the outsized impact that it can create in the world, we follow Amar and Michelle as their spark of an idea roars to life as The Portal -- a modular, gold shipping container with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall projection screen technology that allows anyone who steps inside to speak with anyone inside one of the other 40+ Portals positioned around the world.


Fueled by Amar and Michelle’s passion for storytelling and human connection, the Portal’s mission is to take visitors outside their comfort zones so they might meet people unlike themselves and learn that we have much more in common with each other than any of us previously thought. Whether it’s Mexico City, Tehran, Los Angeles, Erbil, Milwaukee, Berlin, Nairobi, or Kabul, the experience is the same, the connection is real, and the emotions are profound. A fact we witness in real time in this episode as a local investor and community leader helps bring the Portal to Richmond in the hopes of connecting every Richmond public school student with people from a corner of the world they may never otherwise have a chance to see or experience.

A portal is a gateway. This episode of Passion Projects is a gateway to deeper connection and greater understanding—of ourselves and each other.


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