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Documentary Film and Director Discussion Coming to Sheslow

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

The School of Education is pleased to announce, through the efforts of the Diversity Committee and in partnership with several Des Moines organizations:  bringing the film I'm Not Racist ... Am I? to Des Moines. In addition to viewing the film, there will be a facilitated discussion with the director, writer, and producer, Catherine Greene, following the showing.

I'm Not Racist Film PosterThe film starts at 6:30 p.m. at Sheslow Auditorium on May 10.  This viewing is free and tickets can be reserved via this link.  The film is part of a larger initiative, Deconstructing Race, developed by The Calhoun School to create a multimedia platform to get young people, their teachers and their families talking – and doing something – about structural systemic racism. 

I'm Not Racist... Am I? is a feature documentary following a diverse group of teens through a yearlong exploration to get at the heart of racism. Through some tense and painful moments, we see how these difficult conversations affect their relationships with friends and parents, and ultimately challenge them to look deep within themselves. By the end of their time together, we’ll see these remarkable young people develop deeper bonds, a stronger resolve and a bigger, more significant definition of racism than any of us ever imagined.

By documenting 12 teenagers from New York City experience of coming together for one school year to talk about race and privilege in a series of workshops and in conversations with friends and family members, we hope the film will inspire others to recognize and interrupt racism in their own lives.

In the film, we’ll get to know: 

  • Anna, adopted from Korea by white parents, who says that if she never had a mirror, would think she was white
  • Martha, whose family is the only white one in her subsidized Harlem building, and who sometimes wishes she were black 
  • Kahleek, nicknamed “white boy” by friends and family, who describes the way people breathe differently as he nears them on the subway
  • Abby, who is biracial, but only knows the white side of her family and has always felt uncomfortable talking about race
  • Sacha, from the city’s affluent Upper West Side, who wants to speak up when his friends who are white say the “N” word, but doesn’t yet know how to do it

Join them as they plunge into a year-long journey to get at the heart of racism. We’ll watch as they have the conversations most of us are too afraid to have and we’ll struggle right along with them as they try to make sense of it all in their daily lives.  By the end of their time together, we’ll realize the hard work has only just begun, and these courageous teens won’t be the only ones asking, “I’m Not Racist... Am I?” 

Today at Drake
07:30 PM - 09:30 PM
Education News
August 2, 2017
Fifty Des Moines Public Schools students will participate in a week-long symposium at Drake University to discuss the unique challenges that students of color face when preparing for college.
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