August 25, 2012 Posted by admin in Film Related, Freedom Riders, New News Category Name

New Report! Freedom Riders Community Engagement Campaign

By any measure the Freedom Riders documentary film was a phenomenal success—winning three Emmy awards, reaching three million viewers on PBS, screening at the White House and being featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. But another gauge of the film’s impact is the role it played as an organizing tool.

Over twelve months time Firelight partnered with sixteen local and national organizations who used the film in creative and strategic ways, engaging young people and adults in powerful dialogue and reflection on the power of nonviolent organizing. Since the launch of our community engagement campaign in May 2011, over 5,500 young people and adults attended screening events, with many more thousands who read about, listened to or watched related local programming on various platforms. From board meetings to poetry slams to statewide organizing rallies, the film helped our partners recruit and energize the next generation of social justice “foot soldiers”, raise funds for their organizations and build alliances with new organizations across the country. And most remarkably, the film became a crucial tool in the work to build alliances between civil rights and immigrant rights organizers.

As an organization best known for producing historical documentaries, connecting our films to community organizing efforts is of chief importance to us. We are working hard to build the capacity of Firelight’s new Community Action Division to implement campaigns for a range of contemporary social issue films.


Go to: http://firelightmedia.tv/newspost/join-firelight-medias-freedom-riders-outreach-campaign/ to learn more about the campaign.

Check out some quotes from two of our partners below:

We have a program called Foot Soldiers for Democracy where we do voter registration, voter education, voter protection, and get-out-the-vote activities. This film gave them the context behind what it means to do the work that they do today and how the baton has passed to them.
– William Kellibrew, Black Youth Vote!

We had a special screening during a board meeting and invited VIPs and other stakeholders. It was very positive in helping us to share our values and make connections between the past historical perspective and the work we are doing now—the organizing work, the direct action, and supporting undocumented immigrants.
- Jeff Parcher, Director of Communications, Center for Community Change

Photo: Black Youth Vote! Screening
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