Promotion for the documentary film Roosevelt High School: Beyond Black and White has been moving right along, funded by a grant from 4Culture, a cultural funding agency for King County. RARE hopes that when people watch the film, they will think about what role they play in making real progress in eliminating all forms of structural and institutional racism. From there, we hope that people can think about what they can do to be part of the solution.
For Black History Month, we have been primarily focusing on promoting the film to private, parochial and some public schools. Some schools have said they will show the film on their own, using the educational materials provided on RARE’s website, and others have asked us to attend a showing and have a panel discussion. One such school is Bryant Elementary; Joe Hunter, Quincy Purcell and Leah Scott, all featured in the film, visited to help with a post-film Q and A session. We are also working on an upcoming showing with the Ballard High School PTSA, which shares many of the same racial equity and structural racism challenges as Roosevelt and other north end schools. Please download our Black History Month flyer.
The film is being used a catalyst for tough conversations at other organizations, as well. University Heights Center showed the film in February with Leah Scott and Quincy Purcell on hand for a post film discussion. The City of Bainbridge Island showed the film as part of their “BI Reads for Justice” program in February. Former Roosevelt High School principal Kristina Rodgers (now principal Bainbridge Island High School) was part of the post film discussion.
Professional organizations have also embraced the film. We’ve recently been to the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhood for an online showing and discussion of the film with Joe, Leah Scott and Tony Allison attending for a post film discussion. In addition, the Seattle Education Association’s Center for Race and Social Justice will be using the film for professional development clock hours On April 29th. We’re excited to get this film in front of the SEA, with its 6,000 members!
Places of worship are also using the film to start discussions within their communities. Beth Shalom Synagogue in NE Seattle and Bellevue Presbyterian have both shown and discussed the film. We look forward to hearing more about what actions they have taken since the showings.
Here are a few comments from our survey about the film that keep us motivated:
- I will share this documentary with a variety of parents and ask other schools how they are incorporating it into curriculum.
I always work at being understanding when it comes to race issues. I listen and read and discuss with friends. The film encourages me to be even more aware.
- I will be more thoughtful and directed in my conversations and interactions with others. I will think and listen more carefully.
I highly recommend this film for viewing by everyone, not only in the Seattle area, but nationwide.
- This film made me aware of just how systemic the inequity is, even in a liberal and progressive city such as Seattle. There is a lot still do to, and this documentary has helped to create a safe place to start the dialogue – for all ages.
If you use the film in your own community, place of work, worship or rest, please let us know how it went by completing this survey and/or emailing us at [email protected]. And, as always, please let us know if we can assist in any way!