The documentary starts at the end of the civil rights era with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and tracks the 50-year journey taken by black Americans on the two different roads they have traveled since that iconic time. Depending on the road they selected (or unconsciously followed), that decision would impact the lives of their children’s children. A large percentage of the population took the path that led to an Afro-centric, secular and political activist journey and the smaller and often unheard population took the path that was taught by their parents and grandparents rooted in the Christian faith (faith, family and education).
We will also be screening assorted short films directed by Kendall Johnson.
Acclaimed writer, Shelby Steele, has long argued that systemic racism is more a strategy than a truth, and that the universal oppression of black Americans is largely over with. But the 2014 shooting of a black teen, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri by a white policeman shook the nation to its core. During Steele’s investigation of Ferguson, America was once again rocked by the brutal killing of George Floyd. Didn’t these killings, and the long list of others like them, put the lie to Steele’s argument?
Roland Fryer was an unlikely Harvard superstar. Abandoned by his mom at birth and raised by an alcoholic dad, Fryer became the youngest black professor to ever secure tenure at Harvard and won the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, the prize for the best economist under 40 in the world. Fryer’s research routinely upended the woke orthodoxies dominating academia. But not on purpose; Fryer isn’t partisan. He’s only interested in digging up truth, no matter what it is. Truth, he says, is the key tool for improving the lives of black boys and girls. Then, in 2018, Fryer’s career was suddenly cut short. Harvard had an official line on why: he’d sexually harassed his staff. Fryer was banned from campus and his multi-million dollar lab was shut down. The few legacy media outlets that did cover the case, such as the New York Times, dutifully repeated the university’s narrative: this punishment was overdue MeToo justice. No, it wasn’t. Drawing on previously unreported documents and interviews with dozens of Fryer’s friends and colleagues, we reveal the true story behind his cancellation.
What would it look like to apply the “anti-racist” principles of Ibram X Kendi to the NBA? Kendi, the most famous “anti-racist” in America, has received $10 million from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, rakes in $20,000 a hour for his consulting services, has won a MacArthur Genius prize, and has been hailed by Oprah and Malcolm Gladwell as a moral prophet. But what does he really believe? The NBA wanted to find out: it hired him for a much-hyped anti-racism summit at the height of the George Floyd Protests. They do not understand what they’re asking for. Implementing Kendi’s anti-racism would result in the ruin of the league.
Ira Glasser is one of America’s unsung champions of civil rights and liberties. As the leader of the American Civil Liberties Union for 23 years, he transformed the organization from a small, “mom-and-pop” operation on the verge of bankruptcy into a civil liberties juggernaut with offices in every state and a $30 million endowment. As his generation retires from the barricades, Ira reminisces on his life at the forefront of defending the rights of all Americans, from civil rights leaders to neo-Nazis. His story takes us to his hometown of Brooklyn, New York, where in 1947 Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers broke the color barrier in baseball and inspired a generation of civil rights activists; to the offices of Robert Kennedy, where the U.S. Senator spoke with a young Ira and convinced him to take his first job with the ACLU; and to California, where a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor explains to Ira why he thinks the ACLU was wrong to defend the right of neo-Nazis to demonstrate near his home in Skokie, Illinois, over 40 years ago — and how recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, evoke painful memories. Amid high-profile controversies surrounding free speech, racial equality, and antisemitism — and on the occasion of the ACLU’s centennial — Ira Glasser’s story is as timely and provocative as ever.
What if, away from tensions around questions of identity and the fear of others, we had found other realities? What if we had stories to tell of audacious citizens who, with a strong desire for people of different beliefs to live together in harmony, have found ways of reinventing family, education, social relations, culture, and work…and have done so despite existing difficulties and frictions? What if, thanks to these stories, gathered from around the world, we can begin to see the emergence of what could be the multi-identity and yet harmonious world of tomorrow? And what if we all took part in it?
Wilfred Reilly is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Kentucky State University, and the author of the books “Taboo: 10 Facts You Can’t Talk About,’ “Hate Crime Hoax,” and “The $50,000,000 Question.” Reilly has published pieces in Academic Questions, Commentary, Quillette, and a number of other journals and magazines. His research interests include international relations and the prevention of war, contemporary American race relations, and the use of modern quantitative methods to test “sacred cow” theories such as the existence of widespread white privilege. Off work, he enjoys dogs, archery, basketball, Asian cooking, and beer. Reilly has been described, by himself, as “the greatest mind of a generation.” He is a member of the FAIR Board of Advisors.
Angel Eduardo is a writer, musician, photographer, and designer based in New York City, best-known for coining and promoting the rhetorical concept of star-manning. He is the Director of Messaging & Editorial as well as an Advisory Board member for the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR), where he helps shape the organization’s pro-human approach to our often contentious and divided discourse. Angel is also a columnist for the Center for Inquiry, where he writes on science, communication, skepticism, and morality.
In the social realm, Angel advocates for a compassionate, honest, and civil approach to discourse, even when we’re incentivized to bare our teeth and dig in our heels. Through his work he hopes to foster a more productive dialogue on the topics of the day, all bolstered by his own six words of advice: Be kind; we’re all first drafts.
Johnny B. Davis is a Constitutional and International law attorney, an Army National Guard JAG, and an adjunct instructor with the Liberty University Helms School of Government. He serves on the board of advisors for the Institute for Community Solutions, and is a writer for the Realist Review. He holds an LLM in International Law from Liberty University Law School, an MDiv in Church History from Liberty University Seminary, a JD from Cumberland Law School, and a BS in Government from Liberty University, and is a Ph.D. candidate in National Security Policy at the Liberty Helms School of Government.
Suziann (Reid) Davis is one of the most decorated track and field athletes in NCAA history. In 2006, Reid was named the premier 400-meter runner in NCAA history and as one of the top student-athletes in the 25-year history of NCAA Women’s Track and Field. She was inducted into the prestigious 2008 University of Texas Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor recognizing her outstanding achievements as a student-athlete and beyond. Suziann is the author of the book, Dark Secrets: Choosing Your Child’s Sports Coach, published by AuthorHouse in 2013 and available in print and on Kindle.
Daryl is an international recording artist, actor and leader of The Daryl Davis Band. He is considered to be one of the greatest Blues & Boogie Woogie and Blues and Rock’n’Roll pianists of all time, having played with The Legendary Blues Band (formerly the Muddy Waters band) and Chuck Berry. As an Actor, Daryl has received rave reviews for his stage role in William Saroyan’s The Time Of Your Life. Daryl has done film and television as well and had roles in the critically acclaimed 5-year HBO television series The Wire.
As a race relations expert, Daryl has received acclaim for his book, Klan-Destine Relationships and his documentary Accidental Courtesy from many respected sources including CNN, NBC, Good Morning America, TLC, NPR, The Washington Post, and many others. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Elliott-Black Award, the MLK Award and the Bridge Builder Award among many others. Filled with exciting encounters and sometimes amusing anecdotes, Daryl’s impassioned lectures leave an audience feeling empowered to confront their own prejudices and overcome their fears.
Eli Steele is an award-winning filmmaker and “How Jack Became Black” marks his first feature length documentary.
A graduate of Claremont McKenna College and Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, Steele’s career highlights include the recent “What Killed Michael Brown?,” “What’s Bugging Seth,” winner of ten film festivals, and “Katrina,” an MTV Network pilot which won him the Breakthrough Filmmakers Award. Steele has written for publications ranging from LA Times and Quillette to Commentary Magazine
A Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Shelby Steele has never shied away from controversy when it comes to race in America. His latest documentary, “What Killed Michael Brown?” promises a subtle critique punctuated by powerful insight. In 2006, Steele received the Bradley Prize for his contributions to the study of race in America. In 2004, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal. In 1991, his work on the documentary “Seven Days in Bensonhurst” was recognized with an Emmy Award and two awards for television documentary writing—the Writer’s Guild Award and the San Francisco Film Festival Award. His documentary, “Jefferson’s Blood,” for PBS’ Frontline also was critically acclaimed. He has written five books, including “White Guilt” and “The Content of Our Character,” which received the National Book Critics Circle Award
Kevin Ray is a Theater Director and Arts Educator. Most recently he directed and produced Unearthly Visitants, an original adaptation of ghost stories by Edith Wharton. Since 2002, he has also worked as a Teaching Artist, leading theater-based workshops for K-12 students on behalf of several cultural institutions in New York City. Kevin is currently developing a theatrical adaptation of E.M. Forster’s only work of science fiction, The Machine Stops, which will premier in 2023. He has received grants to support his work form Brooklyn Arts Council, Broadway Green Alliance, and The Puffin Foundation. Kevin is an Associate Member of SDC and holds an MFA in Theater Directing from Brooklyn College. More information can be found at https://www.kevinrayworks.com
Sahar Tartak is a high school senior from Long Island and soon-to-be freshman at Yale University. At school, she’s involved in DECA, an international business organization, Model Congress, and a cappella (where she actually sings tenor!). In her free time, she loves karaoke and going on walks. Sahar also serves as the president of her high school’s student government, and she uses her platform to fight for FAIR’s pro-human values. Sahar must thank her friends, teachers, and wonderful family for their support. Throughout the challenges Sahar faced in her advocacy, they were always there for her. She aspires to be there for others in the very same way.
Moshe K. Levy is a father to 3 beautiful girls, an avid motorcyclist, and a FAIR volunteer. He received his MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 2005 and serves as Executive Vice President of a rugged electronics manufacturer in New Jersey.
Rob Montz is the co-founder and CEO of Good Kid Productions. His online documentary work has attracted millions of views and coverage in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Economist, USA Today, and The Adam Carolla Podcast. He graduated from Brown University in 2005 with a degree in philosophy and precisely zero marketable skills. Somehow he ended up living on a 50-acre farm in the Virginia woods with a wife and three children.
Nico Perrino is Vice President of Communications for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and host of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast. MIGHTY IRA (2020), a documentary film about the life and career of former ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser, is Nico’s directorial debut. Previously, he served as Creative Consultant on CAN WE TAKE A JOKE (2015), a documentary about censorship in stand up comedy.
Greg Lukianoff is an attorney, New York Times best-selling author, and the President and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He is the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, Freedom From Speech, and FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus. Most recently, he co-authored The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure with Jonathan Haidt. This New York Times best-seller expands on their September 2015 Atlantic cover story of the same name. Greg is also an Executive Producer of Can We Take a Joke? (2015), a feature-length documentary that explores the collision between comedy, censorship, and outrage culture, both on and off campus, and of Mighty Ira: A Civil Liberties Story (2020), an award-winning feature-length film about the life and career of former ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser.
With degrees in law (ULB – University of Brussels) and business management from Solvay Business School (Brussels), Pierre pursued a career in the private sector for more than 25 years, holding management positions in small and large companies (including Procter & Gamble, Stanley Tools and Reckittbenckiser). In 2009, he made a radical career change by becoming a secondary school teacher in schools in Molenbeek, Brussels where a majority of pupils came from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. During his years as a teacher, Pierre met many people who shared his vision of struggling for more fairness in educational success. Pursuing his vision, Pierre took yet another new turn in his career and, together with other social entrepreneurs, in 2013, launched ‘Teach for Belgium’ as part of the ‘Teach For All Network’. In addition to these activities in Belgium, Pierre is involved in development projects in Senegal in the village of Palmarin. Far from the identitarian tensions that we are confronted with in our countries, in this village, Christians and Muslims live in perfect harmony with disconcerting ease. This new reality became the starting point of a quest that would take Pierre across the different continents in search of inspiring stories of citizens who have made the wager to go towards the other and who can be a source of inspiration to us all.
Rev. Vicky L. Eastland has been the pastor of Brookville Church since 2012. Because of her work as a founding member of the first Interfaith Council of Greene County in upstate New York, she was called to Brookville Church on Long Island, New York to help integrate interfaith families into the life of the church. From this, she established a multifaith campus that currently represents three major world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Rorri Geller-Mohamed, LCSW is an anti-racism and DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) coach & consultant, the founder of U Power Change, a licensed therapist, and the host of the RaciallyResponsiblePodcast. She is passionate about helping individuals and organizations be part of creating change to build a safe, loving, and inclusive world. Rorri also brings her personal experience to this work of being white and Jewish and growing up in a multiracial family, being in an interfaith (Jewish-Muslim) marriage, and now raising her two children in a multicultural, multifaith, and multiracial family
Alan Charles Kors (B.A., Princeton; M.A. and Ph.D., Harvard) specializes in European intellectual history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with a general interest in the deep intellectual transformation of European thought and a special research interest in the relationships between orthodox and heterodox thought in France after 1650. He has published several books and many articles on early-modern French intellectual history, and he was editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (4 volumes, Oxford University Press, 2002). He taught, among other courses, seventeenth-century European intellectual history; eighteenth-century European intellectual history; and various seminars on the French Enlightenment, the history of classical liberalism, and the phenomenon of political disillusionment. He served for six years, after confirmation by the U.S. Senate, on the National Council for the Humanities, and he has received fellowships from the American Council for Learned Societies, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, and the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University.
Stuart Taylor, Jr. is a Washington author and freelance writer focusing on legal and policy issues. He occasionally practices law. Taylor has coauthored three books. All have been acclaimed by commentators across the ideological spectrum. In January 2017, KC Johnson and Taylor authored The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities. In 2012, Richard Sander and Taylor authored Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It. In 2007, Taylor and Johnson authored Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Fraud. Sander and Taylor have also filed amicus briefs in Supreme Court cases involving admissions preferences.
Kendall Johnson is the founder of Underdog. He is a Nashville based film maker and composer. Having attended Vancouver Film School and spending time at Remote Control in Los Angeles, the famed studio of Hans Zimmer, Kendall has an knack for captivating audiences with unique video compositions and cinematic scores. He is a natural-born story teller and has a passion for telling the unheard stories.