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Brave New Educators Blog

This blog will be a place for students, professors, interns or university staff to write about their experiences with our Brave New Educators program, Brave New Films' documentaries, or the social justice issues we address. As Brave New Films' documentaries are shown in the classroom, we hope to hear responses or personal stories from students and professors discussing the themes of our films. It is exciting to hear how documentary has inspired students to explore, become activists, or share information. If you would like to post to this webpage, please email educators@bravenewfilms.org with the subject line "Blog".

#TuneIntoTeachers

 

I was first shown Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price in Mr Goldberg's 9th grade history class (2011-12). At the time I had just moved to Brooklyn and my knowledge of the U.S. was minimal. The film proved to be deeply formative for me - it was the basis for my ceaseless infatuation with the U.S. and its absurd and sometimes oppressive values. Four years later and I am on a gap year interning at Brave New Films, the company that brought you Walmart. Thank you for introducing me to BNF's work Mr Goldberg!

 

Is there a teacher that has inspired you? Tell that story with the hashtag #tuneintoteachers. We are partnering up with Voice of Witness to share our gratitude for teachers who have inspired us. 

 

My teacher showed me Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price and now there are so many films available to teachers through BNE. Please encourage a teacher to check out Brave New Educators! 

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College Students Protest Systemic Racism

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 By: Laila Naraghi

 

 Across the country college  campuses are charged with a  revolutionary spirit, protesting the  racial inequality and discrimination  present at their institutions and  instigating a conversation  surrounding the experience of  students of color. 

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Students at SMC discuss Violence, Anger and Fear

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Allow us to Introduce…Our 2015 Education Partnership with Voice of Witness

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These books are amazing… beautifully produced, with incredible editing and literary sensibility. Voice of Witness has done a better job than I’ve seen anybody do with having people tell their stories in a way that really engages you. – Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

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Universities aren’t the Ballet: Why university donations need to have no strings attached

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We all know that the Koch Brothers have spent millions on elections. They spent over $400 million on the 2012 election and a combined $290 million on the midterms this year through personal donations and through their think tanks like Americans for Prosperity. There has been much debate over these donations and how the duo is affecting American democracy. In a post Citizen’s United world, we have begun to expect political interference by billionaires. But the Koch Brothers' influence is starting earlier than ever- in the classroom. To be clear, this isn’t new; the Koch’s have been donating to universities for years. But we are now beginning to see the consequences of taking large sums for specific projects within public education. In some cases, there has been major interference by the Koch Brothers to support their free-market, libertarian ideology.

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A Continuous Journey of Growth from D.C. to California

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Graduating from Howard University in Washington D.C. then moving back home to California was a huge transition for me. I had just spent my entire adult life in another city. I had established a home, friendships, networks, mentors and most importantly a job - but I missed home. So at the end of July of 2014, I took a leap of faith and moved back to Los Angeles knowing that even though I had friends and family I had no connections to begin an actual career in my degree. Soon August rolled around, then September, and I was at a panic. Even though it had only been about 45 days since being home, I had been applying for jobs religiously but had no luck.

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Silence Speaks

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Women in Uganda share stories

At Brave New Films we tell stories of injustice, inequality and security. We are proud of what we do and of our education initiatives. We love the idea of sharing stories that encourage empathy among viewers. Because of this, when we see programs that also seek to educate and promote understanding, we are happy to tell our educators about them. In this post we wanted to share with you the great work of Silence Speaks, an initiative that not only supports the rights of women, but the rights of all people to tell their own stories in their own words. 

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A Conversation with A Brave New Educator: James Robilotta, Inspirational Speaker

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"My passion for social justice work really came after learning just how unaware and uneducated I was about all forms of diversity." 

Why talk to college students? What inspired you to want to inspire students?

I love to work with college students because I think in high school you figure out who you are, but it's in college that you figure out WHY you are who you are. I find that's the exact moment when you can challenge someone, that’s the point where growth happens. 

I’ll be honest I did not get into speaking because I wanted to be inspirational. I wanted to educate. I used to cringe at being called a motivational speaker. I think Chris Farley’s hysterical SNL character, Matt Foley, kind of changed the way people think when they hear the phrase, “motivational speaker.”  Now I do not mind it as much but it is my goal as a speaker first to educate then to inspire. I think inspiration is a moment in time, a spark, whereas education is a process and more long-lasting. Ultimately I recognize it’s all semantics, but that’s the way I approach it.

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Everyone Has Stories to Tell

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Jasmine with participants of the Inspiration Project

I am thinking about what really defines me. International student? World Traveler? A potential journalist? A rising senior who is preparing herself to enter the job market?  I see myself as a story collector. One day, I want to write down all the interesting life stories that I collect from the people around me.

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Affordable Colleges Online

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Brave New Educators aims to highlight a new place to find affordable college options: http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org.

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Education is for Action

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 Anil channeling “Elsa” in the center of an ice palace in Oulu, Finland. 

I would never call myself a 'straight A student'. Heck, I would probably never have anything to do with word 'straight' – except  that I believe education has the ability to provide a straight-forward solution to the same old problems. 

I grew up in the Philippines, where private Catholic schools ran rampant like snow in Finland. In my years in school, I was often considered delinquent. I remember being the student who never paid attention in class and was always prone to being sent out. What was viewed as a punishment was, for me, a chance to escape from the pressure of academics. Instead of sulking, I was in my own bliss. I  would imagine how life would be if I had the powers of Jean Grey, and I could save the world from the villainous Brotherhood of Mutants. Safe to say, it never happened. But it was a nice thought. Or could have been the spark of my desire to reach out and help with what I can. 

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Political Activism at Truman State University

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My name is Aaron Albrecht and I am a Junior Sociology student at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. I am also a social and political activist. I like to find ways to integrate my academic studies with my passion for community discussion and involvement in important issues. This, I think, is at the heart of democracy. Currently, I am researching the global war on terrorism and the use of drones to conduct targeted killings. Moreover, I am interested in studying what students know, how they feel about these issues, and what has influenced their views.

During the Spring of 2014 I had the pleasure of working with Brave New Films to organize an event here on the Truman State campus. I am glad to say that the two-day symposium on Drone Warfare was a marked success. The first evening consisted of a film screening of Robert Greenwald's Unmanned: America's Drone Wars with discussion following and the second evening consisted of a public lecture. Invited expert Professor Lawrence Wilkerson of William and Mary college in Virginia gave an address entitled Drones: A Threat to more than the Enemy. The event was well attended and discussion followed students and faculty out the door and onto the campus for many days.

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