Driven by story, but wanting to create measurable change, Tim Matsui created Leaving the Life to engage audiences and provide opportunities to become more than content consumers.

Without the support of the Alexia Foundation, whose Women's Initiative Grant was the seed capital for this reportage, the project would not have its strong narrative component. Partnerships with the Blue Earth Alliance, A Fourth Act, and a subsequent grant from The Fledgling Fund allowed him to create this community engagement project.


Tim Matsui: Along with photojournalism experience in wires, agencies, magazines, and long-term projects, Matsui brings nearly 15 years experience reporting on trauma and victimization, several years founding and running a non profit emphasizing community engagement, and has the collaborative, relational style necessary for intimate visual storytelling.

Laura Lo Forti / A Fourth Act: A former writer, editor and multimedia producer, for the past 10 years she’s been a “story midwife” working with non-governmental organizations and social action groups to create participatory media projects that raise the emotional voices of vulnerable individuals and communities to generate civic engagement and encourage systemic change. 

Andrew DeVigal / A Fourth Act: A former multimedia editor at The New York Times, DeVigal is a visionary storyteller with a comprehensive background in pioneering new approaches to interactive storytelling and leading award-winning interdisciplinary teams.

Meredith Lawrence: A former newspaper reporter, Lawrence recently completed her Masters in Multimedia Journalism. She is a journalist and multimedia producer with a background in narrative storytelling and education reporting.