CORVALLIS, Ore. – The award-winning documentary “American Promise,” about the struggles of two middle-class African American families as they educate and parent their sons, will be shown at Oregon State University on Tuesday, April 15.
The screening begins at 7 p.m. in the auditorium in Milam Hall, 2520 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis. A question-and-answer session with filmmaker Michèle Stephenson will follow. The event is free and open to the public. Lead sponsors for the event are the College of Education and the Division of Student Affairs, with additional support from several other OSU programs.
A 30-minute version of the film will be shown at 4 p.m. Monday, April 14, in the theater at Corvallis High School, 1400 N.W. Buchanan Ave. A panel discussion about the African American male experience in predominately white schools will follow. That event is also free and open to the public.
“We hope the film will help us better understand some of the issues surrounding the black male achievement gap as it exists in our community,” said Felicia Reid-Metoyer, a faculty member in the College of Education and one of the organizers of the events.
“In particular, we would like for the two-day event to advance the discussion as it relates to teachers, administrators, and staff who work with underrepresented minorities in Corvallis and other local schools,” said Reid-Metoyer, who was inspired to bring the film to Corvallis after watching it in Los Angeles last year.
In “American Promise,” Stephenson and her partner, Joe Brewster, follow their son, Idris, and his best friend, Oluwaseun “Seun” Summers, as they move through school and confront issues of class, race and opportunity. The film begins with the boys’ entry into kindergarten at a prestigious private school and follows them through their school years to high school graduation.
“American Promise” premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking. To learn more about the film or watch the trailer, visit www.americanpromise.org.