Mexican Americans and Indigenous Americans

By Mary Donofrio | Despite the societal misconception of Mexican-Americans not quite belonging in the United States, the heritage of people of Mexican descent in the country goes as far back as the 1500s, sparked by the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors in Native America. From the colonization of indigenous peoples such as the Aztecs and the Pueblo nations of the American Southwest, this cultural mixing … Continue reading Mexican Americans and Indigenous Americans

Racism to The 13th Degree

By Jordan Nickels | In The Exonerated, the topic of race is very prevalent to the stories of the exonerees of color, especially in their experiences with police officers and the criminal justice system. This issues have recently been addressed in filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s new documentary The 13th on Netflix which was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards. The 13th also opened the 2016 New York Film … Continue reading Racism to The 13th Degree

Are We Raising Racists?

By Jordan Nickels | Are we raising racists? This is the question proposed in the New York Times article posted by Jennifer Harvey that has received a lot of attention lately. She discusses explaining historical figures to her child, like George Washington, who was a respected president, but also owned slaves. Jennifer gets to the point that parents need to start having more specific conversations … Continue reading Are We Raising Racists?

American Dreams…Stories of Immigration

Our Forum Partners METV have entered a new documentary into the 2017 Sarasota Film Festival about the history of immigration in the United States: ————————————————————————– Manatee Educational Television (METV) and BTN Films are proud to announce that their new documentary, American Dreams…Stories of Immigration, has been selected as an Official Entry of the 2017 Sarasota Film Festival. American Dreams will premier as part of the Sarasota Film … Continue reading American Dreams…Stories of Immigration

Upcoming Events – Visible Men Academy

Teamsters National Black Caucus and Concert with a Cause are partnering with Visible Men Academy to provide some upcoming events for the community. Visible Men Academy serves students from Manatee and Sarasota Counties from lower income communities. For more information, please see below: Teamsters National Black Caucus adopts Visible Men Academy On Saturday, March 25th at 6:00 pm, Visible Men Academy’s Co Founder and Principal, Neil Phillips, … Continue reading Upcoming Events – Visible Men Academy

“Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes”A Class Divided

By Jordan Nickels | How do you teach white students about discrimination and racism? The day after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, a small town Iowa teacher named Jane Elliott prepared an experiment for her class. This lesson was called “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes,” where she would treat her students who had blue eyes as superior to those who have brown eyes. This experiment has … Continue reading “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes”A Class Divided

Rev. Virginia Herring’s Call for Freedom

With our Dialogues on Diversity series, we have had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations and community leaders to help us continue the conversation. Along with our forums blog, Rev. Dr. Tom Pfaff and the Sarasota Ministerial Association are providing us with insightful and inspiring sermons throughout our Dialogues on Diversity series. This week’s sermon is from Rev. Virginia Herring, discussing the contribution of two slaves that … Continue reading Rev. Virginia Herring’s Call for Freedom

Black Lives Matter – The Mothers of the Movement

By Jordan Nickels | “We must bring awareness.… Don’t wait until tragedy knocks on your door.” Gwen Carr, Mother of Eric Garner. What started as a hashtag became a movement. After the death of  17-year-old Trayvon Martin  and 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, a group came together to start the Black Lives Matter Movement to promote changes to police brutality, gun reform, and race relations … Continue reading Black Lives Matter – The Mothers of the Movement

Behind Bars: Writing The Exonerated

By Jordan Nickels | In 2005, The Exonerated helped opened the Stage III series at Florida Studio Theatre, as a part of our commitment to producing contemporary work that challenges our audience. What better play to reintroduce Stage III this year, than a play about the corruption in our American penal system and innocence of many death row inmates. But when did this play come to … Continue reading Behind Bars: Writing The Exonerated

Center Stage to Center Ring: The Real Tray

By Jordan Nickels | Theatergoers know about playwright Kimber Lee’s poetic play brownsville song (b-side for tray), showing how the family copes with the death of 18 year-old Tray Thompson. But what many don’t know is this play is based on a true story of 20 year-old Tray Franklin Grant, an aspiring boxer from Brownsville, Brooklyn. Kimber Lee, who is also from Brooklyn, heard about Tray through … Continue reading Center Stage to Center Ring: The Real Tray