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The Interrupters

Film Screening and Dialogue on Violence Prevention in DC

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 1:00pm - 3:30pm

Location: Wechsler Theater, Mary Graydon Center 3rd Floor, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20016

This event is part of the Benevolent Media Festival, an all-volunteer project celebrating storytelling and design for good, organized during Digital Capital Week.

Eventbrite listing: http://benmedfestinterrupters.eventbrite.com/

The InterruptersJoin the Center for Social Media and the Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop for a special screening of The Interrupters, courtesy of Cinema Guild and Kartemquin Films. The Interrupters documentary film tells the powerful story of three individuals who choose to interrupt the cycle of violence they once employed in their own communities.

Free MindsFollowing the screening, esteemed members of Free Minds will a special reading of poems relating to the issues in "The Interrupters" to kick off DC-focused dialogue about ways to decrease violence in communities. The vision of the Free Minds Book Club & Writing WorFree Minds Book Club & Writing Workshopkshop is for every young inmate to receive the necessary tools, inspiration and community support to pursue education and follow a positive new path in life. Members' experiences are a direct reflection of The Interrupters story--Washington, DC's own struggle to face the issue of violence and the hope of transformation.

Additional Special Guests: 

 Michael Mattocks - Co-author of Unlikely Brothers

 Mark Timberlake - Outreach & Reentry Specialist, Free Minds Book Club

For more than eight years, Mark has devoted himself to empowering young people in the District of Columbia. In his role as a part time Outreach and Reentry Specialist for Free Minds, Mark draws on his own powerful story of successful homecoming to motivate recently returned Free Minds members towards a positive life path. Mark connects Free Minds youth to employment and life skills training, job opportunities, and educational resources while providing an invaluable role as mentor helping them navigate successfully through the challenges of life after incarceration. 


Michael Kemp  - Member & Reentry Coach, Free Minds Book Club

Michael has been a Free Minds member since 2007 when he was first incarcerated as a juvenile at the DC jail. As a reentry coach, he draws on his own experience to motivate recently returned Free Minds members towards a positive life path. Michael also works at the Campaign for Youth Justice, an organization dedicated to ending the practice of trying and sentencing youth in the adult criminal justice system. He shares his life story with political leaders, service providers and students to educate the community on the underlying causes of youth incarceration. Michael is currently producing his own documentary on the challenges of reentry and is an avid poet and musician. 


Eddie Ellis - CEO, One by 1, Inc

One By 1, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in the Washington,D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area that works to keep communities safe. One By 1 works with community based programs, grassroots organizations, service providing agencies and national advocacy groups to provide resources and expert trainings on equitable criminal justice reform. One By 1 also improves the lives of young people who are at risk, or already involved in the juvenile justice system by providing mentoring services and skill based on projects designed to build self-esteem, confidence, and leadership skills.


The Interrupters:

The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. From acclaimed director Steve James and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz, this film is an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities. Shot over the course of a year out of Kartemquin Films, The Interrupters captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for the violence in our cities. During that period, the city was besieged by high-profile incidents, most notably the brutal beating of Derrion Albert, a Chicago High School student, whose death was caught on videotape.