In support of Black Lives Matter, I am making available for free the FACING RACISM documentary. I made the film in 1996, but it remains astonishingly relevant in light of recent events.
The John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation supported the wide dissemination of videotapes and a facilitators guides to schools, health departments, community centers, churches, and grass-roots organizations around the nation. The film incorporates video diarist testimonies within a documentary narrative and has been used extensively as a tool for dialogue around issues of race.
Please share this link with people you think could benefit from viewing and sharing the film. https://restlesshungarian.com/facing-racism/
Facing Racism Program Guide
There is a danger of perceiving violence in our society as being a minority problem, of being predominantly limited to persons of color among the urban poor. The contextualization of violence in the mainstream media helps to support this view. But violence is unrestricted by race or class. Often it is possible to contribute to conditions that create violence without ever pulling a trigger or physically assaulting another person. This program considers the denial of ethnic identity (both one’s own and other’s) as a form of violence. Living, as we do, in a society divided along racial lines, many of us are afraid of open conversations about race, seeing them as pointless and sometimes dangerous. “Facing Racism” is the story of five individuals of diverse backgrounds who agreed not only to meet with others to talk openly about racial issues but to record their thoughts and reactions during the process using small camcorders. We then follow them through a three-day Unlearning Racism workshop presented by diversity trainer Lee Mun Wah in Berkeley, California.
As the five move through the workshop, events occur that challenge their beliefs and open their eyes to other ways of seeing things. On Saturday, Allan a European-American, is confronted by his African-American workshop partner over a joke he made on Friday night, which was taken as disrespectful. The facilitated conflict resolution that followed takes place before the entire workshop. It arouses strong emotions in Allan and his partner, Dennard, as well as in the observing participants, who share their widely divergent viewpoints later in separate ethnic caucuses. This incident becomes the catalyst sparking the anger and fears, opinions and insights that the five diarists share in their diary entries that night. Returning to the workshop on Sunday, the diarists find an atmosphere of open and honest communication and the workshop ends on a hopeful note.
Following the workshop, the diarists come together at a cafe to reflect on what difference the weekend workshop made in their lives. In the ensuing discussion, they find that many of the issues that had come up in the workshop came up again… and again. They reflect on the honest sharing that took place and, despite the discomfort, express the hope that the conversation of Facing Racism will continue