Social Justice Blockbusters

May 30, 2016

If you're looking for a summer movie that's better than your average popcorn flick, our Creative Change alumni have you covered.

Negin Farsad's (CC '11 and '12) 3rd Street Blackout is a comedy and love story about Hurricane Sandy and the ensuing blackout, starring John Hodgman, Janeane Garofalo, and Ed Weeks. Shalini Kantayya's (CC '11) Catching the Sun tells the story of the global clean energy future through the eyes of the people most diectly affected. Kelly Creedon's (CC '11) documentary In This World premiered at the Indie Grits film festival in Columbia, SC, on April 14, as well as screening at the Independent Film Festival Boston in late April. Jim Miller (CC '09) and Brave New Films have a new documentary, Making a Killing, about the big business of firearms, and are encouraging activists across the country to screen it and use it to organize.

A man and woman huddle around a flashlight
3rd Street Blackout

On criminal justice and immigrant rights, our partners and Communications Institute Fellows are making headlines. Kassandra Frederique (CI '15) published an op-ed in Ebony, As 4/20 Rolls Around, It's High Time We Had Sensible Marijuana Policy, Vivian Nixon (CI ’15) wrote about the relationship between criminal records and access to higher education for the Huffington Post, and Johnny Perez published a letter to the editor in the New York Times about the damage that solitary confinement can do.

The ACLU of New Mexico filed a complaint against Customs and Border Patrol for not returning vital belongings to deportees in the El Paso sector, which garnered coast-to-coast coverage, including in the Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, and Associated Press. The Albuquerque Journal quoted Vicki Gaubeca: “The U.S. government is robbing people of their personal belongings.That is inappropriate and contradicts our American values of fairness and justice.”

Last month, we highlighted the work of Beka Economopoulos (CC '12) and Not An Alternative, and we weren't the only ones paying attention. The New York Times published a front page feature, Making Museums Moral Again that drew heavily from Not An Alternative's efforts to highlight the conflicts of interest between museums and fossil fuel sponsors, and the Houston Chronicle ran an editorial about their exhibition linking the oil industry museum sponsorship and Houston air quality. Heidi Quante (CC '14) is also using arts and culture to highlight the human impact of climate change through her Bureau of Linguistical Reality, which will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara.