Film festival looks to connect to the past

By Hannah Rae Lambert

Diversity Education and the Culture and Heritage Houses are teaming up to put on a three-night film festival this semester.

Diversity Education Coordinator Jenne Schmidt said one goal of the film festival is to connect historical civil rights moments to the present.

The two groups will kick off the series tomorrow afternoon at the Talmadge Anderson Heritage House at 4 p.m. with a documentary titled “4 Little Girls” about the four African-American girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.

“This is our first run at (the program), but we plan on continuing to have events like this down the road,” said Nick Kufus, graduate assistant for Diversity Education and the Culture and Heritage Houses.

Marc Robinson, director of the Culture and Heritage Houses, said the program hopes to honor and commemorate civil rights history, as well as add to the educational opportunities at WSU.

He said since the Culture and Heritage Houses began in 2007 the organization has seen several accomplishments over the past few years, including an increase in the number of students the organization serves.

“Last year we had approximately 4,000 people who were using our spaces,” Robinson said.

Students, faculty and staff use the Culture and Heritage Houses for a variety of events, from welcome back retreats and potlucks at the beginning of the year to rehearsals and workshops.

In the future, Diversity Education and the Culture and Heritage Houses will partner again to put on three to four workshops called “Social Justice Teach-Ins.”

Schmidt said the workshops will address the role rural areas can play in fighting for social justice.

On Sept. 28 the Culture and Heritage Houses will be involved in putting on the program “Freedom School” that will focus on Chicano/Latino heritage.

“It’s really a family oriented program with a component for small kids and a component for teens and adults,” Robinson said. “We really appreciate all of our partners and we’re looking forward to a good year.”

Talmadge Anderson Heritage House will host the first two films on Sept. 18 and Oct. 16. The third film will be shown at Casa Latina Nov. 13.

The film festival is free and open to the public.

“We hope to have a fairly decent turn out,” Schmidt said. “Our overall goal is to create an inclusive environment on the whole campus.”