Join us for our first 2013-14
A series of free matinee screenings
with post-film discussions
THE GRADUATES/ LOS GRADUADOS (GIRLS)
Directed by : Bernardo Ruiz
The film series and its supporting content is part of the American Graduate public media initiative.
Monday, September 30th
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901
Click photo to view trailer Photos courtesy of Quiet Pictures
The Graduates/Los Graduados explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of Latina students from across the United States. More than a survey of contemporary policy debates, the bilingual, two-part film offers first-hand perspectives on key challenges facing Latino high school students and their families, educators, and community leaders. It is the story of the graduates who will make up America’s future.
The film follows these teenagers - each with their own unique obstacles to overcome. “Girls” features Stephanie, a daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, who despite attending a tough public school on the South Side of Chicago, fights through the distractions and worries about violence to become a good student, outspoken activist, and volunteer; Chastity, a Bronx teen whose family has become homeless but uses writing as a means of escape while keeping her eyes on the prize — college; and Darlene, a Tulsa student who dropped out of school after becoming pregnant and has to play catch-up when she dives back into her studies, all while trying to make a good future for her son.
A running theme throughout all of the stories in The Graduates/Los Graduados is the importance of civic engagement, of students becoming involved in their schools and communities, and — crucially — having a say in their own futures.
We hear from these students’ parents, many of whom have had to make great sacrifices in order to see their children graduate, and the film also interweaves engaging interviews with successful Latinos — actors like Wilmer Valderrama, activists, writers like Angie Cruz, politicians such as San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, teachers, and more — looking back on their own experiences as a student in the US.
Ruiz founded Quiet Pictures in 2007 to produce independent documentary projects at the intersection of journalism and film. He is the director/producer of America Experience: Roberto Clemente (PBS, 2008) and more recently directed Reportero (POV, 2013), a gripping look at the world of Mexican journalists who cover organized crime and political corruption. Before starting Quiet Pictures, Ruiz worked for a variety of media outlets, including PBS, National Geographic, Planet Green and MTV, among others. He was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and grew up in Brooklyn in a household where education was a frequent topic of conversation — his mother has been a teacher of high-school Spanish for nearly 40 years. He studied documentary photography with Joel Sternfeld at Sarah Lawrence College. Before embarking on a career in documentary, he taught as an artist-in-residence in New York City public schools via Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (L.E.A.P.)
Q & A immediately following the film with:
Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz
Founding Executive Director
E3: Education, Excellence and Equity
Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz specializes in areas related to immigration, youth, and education. He completed his Ed.D. at the University of San Francisco in the Department of International and Multicultural Education. His dissertation research focused on the racial identity development of undocumented Latino youth. He is bilingual in Spanish and English, was born in Brazil to Nicaraguan parents and immigrated to the United States, which has provided him with exclusive insight into many of the issues that educators face today. He has traveled around the country as a keynote speaker, provided cultural competency trainings for educators and organizations, and has been featured in a documentary that focuses on contemporary civil rights activists. Consequently, his creative and unique approach provides schools with innovative solutions for students and teachers to achieve educational excellence and equity within the classroom. In addition to being the founding Executive Director of E3: Education, Excellence, & Equity, he currently serves as an adjunct professor at Dominican University and acts as a trustee for several independent schools and educational organizations.
Outreach Director (current Interim Executive Director)
Ryan was born and raised in Mill Valley, California. He graduated from Tamalpais High School in 1999, and continued on to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California on a baseball scholarship. Ryan graduated in 2003 with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and realized his passion for helping others, especially youth, through his many volunteer experiences during college. After college, Ryan began working with kids in all levels of the public school system, including Elementary and Middle School and at the Junior College level. Most recently, Ryan worked in ESL classes at Mill Valley Middle School and served as the assistant baseball coach at College of Marin. He has served as a mentor, Outreach Director and Interim Executive Director for Summer Search North Bay and as he enters his 8th year at Summer Search, has most recently seen his first class of students graduate from college affirming the life-changing effects Summer Search makes on the next generation of leaders from underrepresented communities.
Student Advisor , 10,000 Degrees
Erick has worked as a Student Advisor and Communications Intern for 10,000 Degrees. As an advisor he has helped hundreds of students find their path to college. Erick's communications work continues to spread the message that all students, no matter their background, can earn a college degree. He is a graduate of San Rafael High School and is currently pursuing an associate degree at Contra Costa College. Following his degree from Contra Costa, Erick expects to be the first in his family to earn a bachelors.
Additional invited panelists: Jeff Finci Connie Heldman , CollegeBound
Presented in partnership with:
We imagine a future where educators embrace the lived and learned experiences of each student, and value the strengths that each child brings into the classroom. In this future, all children achieve academic success, graduate from high school, and have the skills required for their next steps in an ever-changing world.
The mission of Summer Search is to find resilient low-income high school students and inspire them to become responsible and altruistic leaders by providing year- round mentoring, life-changing summer experiences, college advising, and a lasting support network.
Co- Sponsored by:
Made possible through the generous support of:
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All screenings are at :
Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 Fourth St.
CFI Education is proud to be a part of Community Cinema. Community Cinema is a ground-breaking public education and civic engagement initiative featuring monthly screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. For more information about Community Cinema and for study guides visit www.pbs.org/independentlens/communitycinema
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