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Social justice topic of upcoming film festival

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will present the See/Saw Festival next month, featuring films, research and performances that focus on the concept of pushing and navigating borders. From post-film discussions moderated by community leaders to an art exhibition from area high school students, this weekend of interdisciplinary events will engage the university and Lawrence community in dialogue around issues of social justice.

Titled On the Brink: Borders, Boundaries, and Becoming, the festival will take place March 4-6 at The Commons, the Union and the Lawrence Public Library. The event is organized by doctoral students in the Department of Special Education —  Hailey Love, Maggie Beneke, Amanda Miller and Molly Siuty — along with graduate student organization KU Professionals for Inclusion and Social Justice (formally known as KUPD). Several KU faculty were involved in the planning of the event, including Elizabeth Kozleski, special education; Jennifer Hamer, American studies; Ray Pence, American studies, and Germaine Halegoua, film & media studies.

Additionally, faculty will serve as moderators to engage audiences in discussion during select films. Pence will moderate “Vectors of Autism” on March 5 at the Union. Clarence Lang, African & African-American studies, will moderate “3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets” on March 5 at the Lawrence Public Library. Other films will be moderated by leaders from community organizations. 

Other festival highlights include a keynote address by Valerie Kinloch, Ohio State University, on March 4. Additionally, the Women of Lawrence Film will curate a series of short films, host a screenwriting workshop for teens and youth, and facilitate theatre games for children.  

The festival imagines borders operating across multiple domains, from physical or geographical boundaries to individual and personal space and identity. In occupying public spaces with care and courage, the event will facilitate difficult, yet critical, conversations, navigating the positive and negative aspects of operating “on the brink.” The overriding intent is to build our local capacity for social change as we further our collective efforts toward equity, inclusion, access and justice. All festival events are free and open to the public.

The 2016 See/Saw Festival is supported by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council. Festival partners include many departments and students organizations at KU, including the Office of Diversity & Equity and the School of Education. Community partners include Lawrence Public Library, American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, The Sunrise Project, Lawrence High School’s Total Equality Alliance, Young Feminist Club and HALO Club, Families Together Inc., Lawrence Fruit Tree Project, Willow Domestic Violence Center, The Merc Co-op, NAACP, Women of Lawrence Film, Douglas County CASA, KU Cultural Psychology, Jewish Studies, the Center for Global and International Studies, the Hall Center for the Humanities, The Shelter Inc., Van Go Mobile Arts, AWAVA and Heartland Healthcare, among others.

For further information, visit seesawfest.com, email seesawfest@gmail.com, or call 281-755-4525. 


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
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#1 public program in nation for special education
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Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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