Though definitely not a comprehensive list of valuable media resources, the films included here provide insights and information that promote greater understanding of cultural diversity, social justice and equity. They have proven useful in workshops and classes.
Set in the Quad Cities (IL/IA), incorporates interviews with children who are living in poverty. The children give their perspectives on being poor in the U.S.A.
Explores the questions: “What happens when the traditional teenager quest for dentity and connection occurs online?” How do social media impact this search?
Two American Families
Bill Moyers’ story about “two ordinary, hard-working families in Milwaukee – one black, one white – as they battle to keep from sliding into poverty” Filmed over a decade, the very different experiences and outcomes for the two families are striking.
African-American parents chronicle the experiences of their son and his friend as students at Dalton Academy, a private K-12 college preparatory school in NYC that primarily serves white students.
“The Graduates/Los Graduados explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six young Latino and Latina students from across the United States. More than a survey of contemporary policy debates, The Graduates offers first-hand perspectives on key challenges facing Latino high school students and their families, educators and community leaders.”
Bestselling author, political adviser and ‘social and ethical prophet’ Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society.” He also challenges audiences to development empathy on an ever larger scale if we are to survive.
The Power of Empathy
In less than three minutes using three animated figures, Dr. Brene Brown differentiates between empathy and sympathy and reminds us “that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to get in touch with our own fragilities. Beautifully done.
The Whiteness Project: Inside the White Caucasian Box
Not a documentary but an interactive investigation into how Americans who identify as “white” experience their ethnicity.” The plan is to interview 100 white people for this project. The first series of 20 interviews, all set in Buffalo, New York, has been released online.
Tough Guise 2
An update of the original Tough Guise, Jackson Katz “examines mass shootings, day-to-day gun violence, violence against women, bullying, gay-bashing, and American militarism against the backdrop of a culture that has normalized violent and regressive forms of masculinity in the face of challenges to traditional male power and authority.”
Advertising and the End of the World
“Making the connection between society's high-consumption lifestyle and the coming environmental crisis, Dr. Sut Jhally . . . evaluate[s] the physical and material costs of the consumer society and how long we can maintain our present level of production.” He questions consumerism’s ability to satisfy people’s desire for happiness.
Killing Me Softly 4
A continuation of Dr. Jean Kilbourne’s analysis of advertising, As in her previous films, she “uncovers a steady stream of sexist and misogynistic images and messages, laying bare a world of frighteningly thin women in positions of passivity, and a restrictive code of femininity that works to undermine girls and women in the real world.”
A documentary about the media's presentation of women and girls. Interviewees include politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and educators.
Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian
Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond chronicles America’s indigenous peoples through a century of cinema and explores how the depictions contribute to how Native Americans are regarded.
Insightful documentary on the gentrification of West Chelsea, New York City and Avenues School, a World School located in the cross hairs of poverty and affluence.
Beyond Bias: Countering Stereotypes in Schools
A year-long series that explores “efforts to recognize and overcome discrimination in schools.
America by the Numbers
“Behind every number, there’s a story.” Maria Hinojosa anchors this “documentary series—the first to focus
Documentary directed by Ava DuVernay. Overview of the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its impact on the incarceration of African Americans in the United States.
Eight-part series examining contemporary social justice issues in the USA. Featuring Norman Lear, Common, Rosario Dawson, among others.
Secret Life of Muslims Digital Series
Aims to “subvert stereotypes and reveal the truth about American Muslims: fascinating careers, unexpected talents, and inspiring accomplishments.”