West Virginia University at Parkersburg NEWS
March 17, 2010
WVU Parkersburg to host state's premiere screening of "Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath."
CONTACT: Debbie Richards, special assistant to the President for policy and social justice, 304-424-8201.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
West Virginia University at Parkersburg will host the state's premiere screening of the award-winning documentary film, "Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath," as part of a two-day dialogue program with filmmaker Valarie Kaur on March 25-26.
The free public screening of "Divided We Fall" will be at 6:30 p.m., Thursday (March 25), in the College Activities Center followed by question-and-answer session with Ms. Kaur.
On Friday (March 26), she will conduct a teachers’ workshop, “Strategies for Engaging Classroom Dialogue,” for public school teachers and student teachers involved with WVU at Parkersburg’s Education Division's Partnership Project.
The session will be followed by a 1 p.m. free public lecture in the Caperton Center Auditorium titled “More Perfect Union: Racism from September 11 to the Obama Era.”
"Divided We Fall" follows the journey of Ms. Kaur, a 20-year-old college student at the time, as she documents hate violence against Sikhs and Muslims in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001 and examines the larger question of “who counts” as American. On a two-year international tour, the film has won more than a dozen awards and reached 150 campuses and communities in 90 cities across the United States.
Described by Harvard University Professor Diana Eck as “a starting point for the new dialogue on race and religion that is essential for American’s future,” the film is the first feature-length documentary about hate violence in the aftermath of Sept. 11th. The film weaves together a personal journey and cross-country road trip with an authoritative examination of race, religion, and American identity in the ongoing aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.
Partners of the film campaign include the Discrimination and National Security Initiative, Facing History and Ourselves, Global Family for Love and Peace, The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, National Lawyers Guild, Interfaith Youth Core, Islamic Society of North America, Religions for Peace - USA, South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sikhchic, the Sikh Coalition, Sikh Foundation, SikhNet, Sikh Spectrum, and South Asians for Obama.
Writer and producer of "Divided We Fall," Ms. Kaur has emerged as a powerful voice for religious and racial dialogue from a new generation of leaders in post-9/11 America. A third-generation Sikh American, she is a writer, public speaker, lecturer in religion and ethics, and award-winning filmmaker. Valarie began the journey to create "Divided We Fall" as an undergraduate at Stanford University, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in religious studies and international relations and was selected as the graduation speaker for her class. She won Stanford’s Golden Medal for her honors thesis on post-9/11 America. The film sent Valarie on an international speaking and screening tour which continues today. She has been invited as an authority on the subject at more than 100 universities, colleges and religious centers across the country. California presented Valarie with an official commendation recognizing her work as a scholar, activist, and storyteller. As a Harvard Presidential Scholar, Valarie received her master’s in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School and presently studies the intersections between religion and law in post-9/11 America at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut. She also serves as founding director of the Discrimination and National Security Initiative at the Harvard Pluralism Project.
The two-day dialogue program is being presented by the WVU at Parkersburg Social Justice Committee with financial assistance from the WV Higher Education Policy Commission and Council for Community and Technical College Education, the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund, and the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts.