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‘American Promise’ Screening & Panel on Capitol Hill

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Join us this Wednesday, February 5th, at the Rayburn House Office Building B-340, in Washington, D.C. for a screening of select clips from American Promisefollowed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the filmmakers, Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster, M.D., and David Johns, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans. There will also be remarks by the Honorable Marcia L. Fudge.

The screening begins at 4:30 p.m. and will be followed by a reception. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so advance RSVPs are recommended.  First come, first served. Registration does not guarantee admission.

Please note that that screening location has changed and will now take place at the Rayburn House Office Building, B-340, at 45 Independence Avenue.

Date: Wednesday, February 5th
Time: 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Rayburn House Office Building B-340, 45 Independence Avenue, Washington, D.C.
RSVP here




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POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • Guest

    I’m 53 back in school afte

  • John E Cox

    At 53 back in school after dropping out from LIU…happen to be watching PBS from Oregon asking myself do I have it to go on ………my first college years flashed before me . All you hear is horror stories from about black families in the urban cities it was so powerful to see black families move as a unit despite loss and adversity………………I was inspired and proud ! You hear more of the new play station game then…………things that make you go.aaaaaahhh!

  • Joan T Walker

    Enjoyed the film, many scenarios struck a cord with me. I have an 8 year old son, attending a predominantly white school in a D.C. suburb. He has already begun to receive comments from his teacher, he is “not organized” and it has affected his grades. I wish I could attend the discussion on Wednesday, but unfortunately mid-week is difficult. Wish the creators the best and will look for the book this is something I would definitely want to share with him when he is a little older.

  • Robin09

    Kudos to the filmmakers. IMO the story was fascinating and thought provoking in ways I had not anticipated.

    On one level the film made me think of the Little Rock 9 integrating Central High School in Arkansas, except of course without the violence, the overt racial animus and the larger sense of purpose and mission felt by the LR9. Here the only real sense of mission was that of the parents — their educational vision for their child — their desire to see their sons excel and succeed in a bastion of white elitism. But the boys experience at Dalton appeared to me rather isolating and too much like a chore. They were no less stereotyped, marginalized and held to low expectations at this elite creme de la creme institution.

    For me the most important take-away from the film is during a child’s formative years (i.e., elementary, middle school, high school) it is more important to nurture, build, protect and instill an inherent sense of value in the child, than it is to have an all consuming relentless focus on academics. I came away feeling that nurturing a child’s emotional well being will provide the foundation they need to excel in most other realms. In my estimation this stage in a child’s development is not the time to throw them full force into a real world experience of race and/or racism. Teach those lessons in the loving atmosphere of home while concurrently building the child’s emotional strength and emotional intelligence. In the film the boys seemed somewhat unhappy and no one really tuned-in to their emotional needs IMO (except maybe the teacher in Brooklyn with Shay). At home it was always push, push, push (and I know that’s necessary) but it’s equally important to balance that out with some understanding.

    Watching the film I felt the pressure Idris and Shay were under from their parents and from their presence at Dalton. Though I know this is not what the parents meant or intended, in many ways it seemed to me they tied the value of their sons to the boys academic achievement. I thought the parents were pushing them pretty hard all the time — no let up. I didn’t see very much joy.

    When kids are in their formative years I think fostering emotional well being is a top priority — right up there with insuring a good education.

    • LearningStuff

      Robin – I just watched it & agree 100% with your take-away. When the boys appeared overwhelmed with the pressure or fearful, the adults didn’t seem to recognize that the boys needed some comfort and praise. My childhood & teen years were like this & though I was academically successful I didn’t learn emotional intelligence. As a result, in my 40′s I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy every day.

  • Emily Julian

    I would like to congratulate and commend everyone involved in the making of this documentary. 13 years was an enormous commitment and I thank you all for your hard work and diligence. You have given me a glimpse of what my husband felt during middle and high school years and that for that I am truly thankful. I hope and pray that all of Idris’ and Seun’s dreams become reality.

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