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American Promise 02/04

Several APSU departments (WNDAACC, African American Studies, International Studies, Women's and Gender Studies Program, and the Hispanic Cultural Center) worked together to screen the documentary American Promise on February 4, 2014.

The documentary is screening for free on POV until March 6, 2014.  Visit this link to view the entire film.

If you joined us on Tuesday, February 4th, we had a discussion that focused on parenting, the "good" and "bad" parts of communities, the similar experiences that all young children face and differences when it comes to racial identity development, and the development of diversity within an institutional context.

Below are some resources that were shared during the discussion:

  • Changing Suburbs Institute at Manhattanville College.  Sponsors professional development for schools, teachers, and administrators on a K-12 level. Their programming focuses on finding solutions to the challenges of educating Hispanic students in the changing suburbs.
  • Check out this link for an article that explores the importance of ethnic studies.

Taking Action (from the American Promise Discussion Guide):

  • Educators can use Teaching Tolerance's professional development guide for educators, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. There are lessons on identity, assimilation, achievement, and viewing education as a system.
  • Add a card to The Race Card Project, started by NPR journalist Michele Norris.  Each participant summaries his or her feelings in a single sentence composed of six words.  Create your own local wall of cards and use them as prompts for further community dialogue.  Visit the project website. Sample messages include "Stop seeing black boys as predators" (a response to the killing of Trayvon Martin and "You talk like a white boy."

Other films to watch:

  • Hoop Dreams (1994):  Currently available for free on Hulu. Watch a short clip on Youtube (1:38). "A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional."
  • The Prep School  Negro (2012): Watch several short clips on the film's website. "In The Prep School Negro, André takes a journey back in time to revisit the events of his adolescence while also spending time with current day prep school students of color and their classmates to see how much has really changed inside the ivory tower. "
  • Race to Nowhere (2009: Watch several short clips on the film's website. "Featuring the heartbreaking stories of young people across the country who have been pushed to the brink, educators who are burned out and worried that students aren't developing the skills they need, and parents who are trying to do what's best for their kids, Race to Nowhere points to the silent epidemic in our schools: cheating has become commonplace, students have become disengaged, stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant, and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired."
  • Waiting for Superman (2010).  Click here for a short Youtube cip (2:35).

Resources from the film: