Civic & Community

Screenings range from broad general audiences to specific public policy issues. These dialogs not only spread, but are taken to heart when using film as the convener

Rotary Club –  suburban Wauwatosa Rotary Club invites filmmaker out for a civil dialog following a screening of Promise of America. Much information was shared and the Club next invited an Emergency Room physician who plays a lead role in the concluding film to come out – for another dialog.

Professional Dimensions – Diverse group of women corporate and civic leaders respond to Dear Rita’s launch with dinner and a screening – followed by deep discussion.

Freedom From Gun Violence: a 14 Day Campaign – as a run-up to the NRA convention coming to town, Peace Action WI initiates two weeks filled with community screenings. Public libraries, businesses and non-profit agencies agree to host these non-polarized screenings all over town to initiate authentic civil dialog at the heart of the problem. Many people who show up tell us they did so because, “You were right in our neighborhood!” On the weekend of the NRA conference, a rally calls all who experienced the films to gather and consider peaceful solutions to preventing gun violence – with words from Public Health, Law Enforcement, Mayor’s office ….  many more.

Neighborhood Organizing Session – the Urban Ecology Center very effectively uses portions of Dear Rita and Changing the Conversation to help console and organize neighbors after a shooting.

The Central Library – inaugurated a Library campaign with a screening of The Promise of America in January, on the weekend set aside to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The spirit of this film and its rich archival footage from the 60s’ Civil Rights Movement commemorates his inspiration as well as the “ordinary people” who participated in that historic time of resistance and change.

Coffee House Screenings – folks at a Fish Creek, WI coffee house decided to host screenings of Dear Rita and Promise of America on two consecutive Saturdays. These provided an unlikely venue for this small town in the center of state. Participants wanted to discuss their very high youth suicide rate – and also potential solutions to the dilemma. Several youth attendees revealed their own personal stories of  friends and family members lost to suicide. Many of us left with a heightened sense of personal responsibility and commitment to reverse the statistics.

Visions for Community Justice: A Forum for Thought & Action – this energetic, committed group included a segment of Changing the Conversation in their interactive forum of presentations and innovative views of the world of Community Justice from local and national speakers and researchers. The film segment they chose to screen to the crowd of 100 plus – connected the complex issues being addressed and added the voices of central city youth to the discussion.

Gun violence prevention discussion at City Hall –  Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett initiates a process of bringing diverse urban stakeholders together to seek solutions to Milwaukee’s increasing gun homicides and to link to statewide communities experiencing other expressions of gun violence – notably, domestic violence and suicide. From this group, we attracted participants eager to travel together to Marshfield (a small, central WI town) for a statewide conference. Another tangible accomplishment of this initial meeting of minds is the initial formulation of a list of agencies, groups and individuals involved with issues surrounding gun violence, posted on the City’s website.

PRESS CONFERENCE  at Martin Luther King Jr. Library invites media to view clips from the first 2 films of the Guns, Grief and Grace in America 3-part documentary series. Media engage with families, law enforcement and concerned community members in dialog around the issues presented in the films.