Spotlight: Speakers In the News

New Film from Qasim Basir Accepted Into Sundance 2018

A new indie romance drama , written and directed by Qasim BasirA Boy. A Girl. A Dream: Love On Election Night stars Omari Hardwick (Power) and Meagan Good (in Hulu’s upcoming Foxy Brown). The story follows a Los Angeles club promoter named Cass (Hardwick), who on the night of the 2016 Presidential Election meets a woman named Free (Good) who challenges him to revisit his broken dreams. This happens during a series of unfortunate events during election night as Trump is surging ahead of Hilary Clinton. The film will premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2018.

Basir’s most recent film, Destined, is in theaters Fall 2017. It premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival last year and went on to win nine awards, including both the Best Director and Best Actor awards at the American Black Film Festival. Destined tells the parallel stories of Sheed and Rasheed, played by the same actor (Cory Hardrict) as they explore the idea of destiny as well as how the smallest incident can manifest itself into a life changing event.

Winona’s Hemp and Heritage Farm Successfully Purchases 40-Acres
Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) is an internationally acclaimed Indigenous author, orator and activist working on sustainable development and environmental justice issues. When she’s not speaking at campuses and communities around the country, she’s farming on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota where she lives. Now she is fulfilling a lifelong dream and purchasing land to establish Winona’s Hemp and Heritage Farm which will generate local wealth in the community by establishing a training institute for Indigenous foods and hemp farming and working with Native youth to create the next generation of Anishinaabe farmers. Learn more at her kickstarter campaign here.



Jim Crow Museum's David Pilgrim to Release New Book, "Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors"

David Pilgrim, PhD, is the founder and Director of the Jim Crow Museum, the nation’s largest, publicly accessible collection of racist objects. His forthcoming book, Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors, examines the origins and significance of several longstanding anti-black stories and the caricatures and stereotypes that support them, using images from the Jim Crow Museum. Dr. Pilgrim explains: “All of these stories matter. They matter to the white supremacists with Tiki torches and their counter protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia. They matter to the police officers who shoot unarmed black teenagers and the people who protest the injustices of the criminal justice system. These anti-Black stories matter to all Americans, either as justifications for racism or as a call to fight racism." You can support publication of this book by supporting this Kickstarter campaign, and pre-ordering the book HERE.

“Dolores” Nominated for Two Critics’ Choice Awards
The Broadcast Films Critics Association announced contenders for its annual awards for documentary films. “Dolores” received two nominations — for Best Political Documentary and Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary. Written and directed by Peter Bratt, "Dolores" is a powerful film about Dolores Huerta, one of the most important, yet least known, activists in U.S. history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century—and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change. See the trailer here. The film awards will be announced November 2 in New York City.



Charlene Carruthers Named to The Root 100 List
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100) National Director Charlene Carruthers has been named to The Root 100, the annual list of the most influential African Americans, ages 25 to 45. It’s The Root’s way of honoring the innovators, leaders, public figures, and game changers whose work from the past year is breaking down barriers and paving the way for the next generation. This is the second year Charlene has made the list, highlighting her work to create justice and freedom for all Black people.


New Film - The Great White Hoax: Donald Trump & the Politics of Race & Class in America
The Great White Hoax, featuring acclaimed anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise, explores how political leaders of both U.S. parties have been tapping into white anxiety, stoking white grievance, and scapegoating people of color for decades to divide and conquer working class voters and shore up political support.

The film’s primary focus is Donald Trump’s race-baiting 2016 campaign for the presidency. But it also widens its scope to show how Trump’s charged rhetoric about African Americans, Latinos, and Muslims fits within a longstanding historical pattern, offering a stunning survey of how racism and racial scapegoating have shaped American politics for centuries. More info/trailer/to purchase


Deepa Iyer Launches Solidarity Is This Podcast
Solidarity Is This is a new podcast created and hosted by Deepa Iyer who is with the Center for Social Inclusion and a 2017 Soros Equality Fellow. Each month, the show will explore how individuals and institutions are experimenting with and exploring multiracial solidarity.  Listeners will learn how to practice transformative solidarity in a rapidly transforming racial landscape and in the midst of heightened discrimination targeting communities of color. Iyer is also the author of We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, winner of a 2016 American Book Award.

Listen and subscribe to the podcast here.