Connecticut Center for Nonviolence is presenting a special, free preview of the American Experience, PBS documentary film, “FREEDOM RIDERS.” The film will be followed by a talk-back with legendary civil rights leader and freedom rider, Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., who is featured in the film. The screening will be on Friday, April 8 at 7pm at the Archdiocesan Center at Saint Thomas Seminary, 467 Bloomfield Ave, Bloomfield, CT. This film is being released in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.
About the film American Experience's "FREEDOM RIDERS" is the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism.
From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till) "FREEDOM RIDERS" features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the Rides firsthand. The two-hour documentary is based on Raymond Arsenault's book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.
Exclusive corporate funding for American Experience is provided by Liberty Mutual. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Major funding for Freedom Riders provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Documentary Investment Group: Lynn Bay Dayton and Rodger & Dawn Nordblom, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and public television viewers. Funding for the 2011 Student Bus Ride provided by LynnBayDayton and the Fledgling Fund. American Experience is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.
The Connecticut Center for Nonviolence (CTCN) at the University of Hartford is a non-profit organization dedicated to Peace through Education and the Arts. CTCN teaches and applies the nonviolence philosophy and methodology of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is actively building a culture of just peace in Harford by working collaboratively with local and regional groups. As the CTCN Honorary Board Chair, Dr. LaFayette has conducted numerous Kingian Nonviolence trainings in Hartford and throughout Connecticut.
For this special event the ConnecticutCenter for Nonviolence is partnering with American Experience PBS, Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and the Office for Black Catholic Ministries Archdiocese of Hartford, CT. The documentary will premiere on CPTV on Monday, May 16, 2011, at 9 p.m.
About Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr.
Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., has been a Civil Rights Movement Activist, minister, educator, lecturer and is a global authority on the strategy of nonviolent social change. He co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960, where he was a leader of the Nashville movement. In 1961, he was beaten and jailed during the Freedom Rides. Miraculously, he also survived an assassination attempt by the Ku Klux Klan in Selma, Alabama.
He served on the Executive Staff of Martin Luther King, Jr., and was appointed by Dr. King as National Program Administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and National Coordinator for the 1968 Poor Peoples’ Campaign.
Over the past forty years Dr. LaFayette has been traveling worldwide organizing the development of Nonviolence Centers in some of the globe’s most violent regions. Dr. LaFayette is currently the Distinguished Senior Scholar in Residence at EmoryUniversity and serves as the Honorary Board Chair of the ConnecticutCenter for Nonviolence.
About Connecticut Public Television
CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN). It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including UConn Women’s Basketball, original documentaries and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television. The station offers 11 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. For more information, visit www.cptv.org.
About the Office for Black Catholic Ministries Archdiocese of Hartford
Working in conjunction with the National Conference of Catholic Bishops / USCC, the National Black Catholic Congress and in collaboration with several agencies within the Archdiocese of Hartford, the Office provides consultative ministry in the following areas: racial understanding, guidelines for receiving pastoral ministers, pastoral care of immigrants and refugees and understanding African culture.
There is no charge to attend the screening, but seating is limited. Please contact the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence to specify how many people are in your group to insure adequate seating. Free parking is available on-site. Call: 860-567-3441 or email: [email protected].