3 Films Towards a Welcoming Community

This message brings you 3 opportunities to raise consciousness and build relationships in your community. Allow me to present three films that have been pre-selected by yours truly here at ROP, and are guaranteed to educate and inspire. These films demonstrate an imaginative approach to difficult subjects touching our hearts along the way. They inspire new ideas for rising to the challenge of these times, ideas to overcome division & fear tactics through sharing our stories, hopes & dreams.

Each film comes with its own perks and unique angle – read carefully to find which one is the best fit for you. Then, let us know which one you’re going to screen in your community in the next few months; we can help with discussion ideas or other ways to make your screening fun & worthwhile.

Welcome to Shelbyville  

This film tells the story of one demographically changing town and the people trying to make sense of it all. Produced by the BeCause Foundation in association with Active Voice, the documentary follows the interlocking lives of several people from all different backgrounds who call Shelbyville, TN their home: the Somali and Latino newcomers who are making new lives there, a reporter who is documenting the newcomers, the long term residents who feel change all around them, and a handful of "welcoming” ambassadors who are working to support immigrant integration.

Contact cara@rop.org if you’d like to host a screening of Welcome to Shelbyville, and we’ll contact Active Voice to get you a screening-quality DVD and facilitation guide.

9500 Liberty

 In 2008, Prince William County, Virginia became ground zero in America’s explosive battle over immigration policy when elected officials adopt a law requiring police officers to question anyone they have "probable cause" to suspect is an undocumented immigrant.

  9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens. The devastating social and economic impact of the "Immigration Resolution" is felt in the lives of real people in homes and in local businesses.

The film documents how residents come together, slowly at first, then more powerfully, to rebuild their local democracy and finally to attempt to overturn the law.

  Papers the Movie

"Papers" is the story of undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status. There are approximately 2 million undocumented children who were born outside the U.S. and raised in this country. These are young people who were educated in American schools, hold American values, know only the U.S. as home and who, upon high school graduation, find the door to their future slammed shut.

It is against the law to work or drive. It is difficult, if not impossible in some states, to attend college. They live at risk of arrest, detention and deportation to countries they may not even remember. Currently, there is no path to citizenship for these young people.

This film was produced by Graham Street Productions in collaboration with the “Papers” Youth Crew, a group of young people involved with every step of production. Screenings across the state and country have opened space for rich dialogue both about what we want: an “everybody in, nobody out” path to legalization, and what we have: the possibility of a compromise and some version of the DREAM Act and immigration reform. We honor the courageous youth organizers who have already built “Dreamers” clubs to fight for change, and we highly encourage this film for communities who want a voice in the dialogue about what undocumented youth need and deserve.

To organize screenings of these films in your community, contact cara@rop.org, we’d love to help you make it great!