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Southeast 67 Film Screening and The Miracle Theatre Launch Event

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The Miracle Theatre

535 8th Street Southeast

Washington, DC 20003

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Southeast 67 Film Synopsis

Devastated by the arrival of crack cocaine in the 1980s, Washington, DC became known as our nation’s “Murder Capital.” Growing up at the epicenter of this violence—in southeast DC—67 rising seventh graders were promised college scholarships by area businessman Stewart Bainum through the I Have a Dream program, a national movement to provide kids in underserved communities the opportunity to attend college. Southeast 67focuses on the students’ struggles to reconcile the dream of college with daily survival in a community rife with violence, poverty and addiction.

Blowing up the simplistic bootstrap narrative of success, this feature-length documentary combines raw, never-before-seen archival film footage and photographs, with present-day footage and intimate interviews with the students themselves, twenty years later. Now in their late thirties, the “Dreamers” share a level of insight that would not have been possible from their younger selves, many of whom concealed the complicated and painful circumstances that held them back. Their journey through junior high and high school from 1988 to 1994 was fraught with staggering challenges, far beyond the program’s initial educational scope. The Dreamers reflect on the hope of pursuing an improbable dream—and, for too many, the anguish of letting that opportunity slip away. But whether they made it to college or not, their stories reveal the enduring impact of the promise, and the program, on all of their lives.

In Southeast 67, you will meet some of the Dreamers and the two extraordinary educators—Steve Bumbaugh and Phyllis Rumbarger—whose tenacity, dedication and love for the kids is, ultimately, transformative. Spanning two decades, their collective story illuminates the complex challenges facing kids in communities of poverty, violence and inferior schools, and offers a nuanced understanding of what it means to truly “succeed.”

Please join us directly following the film for a short panel discussion, followed by questions from the audience.

Panel participants are:

  • Caroline Hill, Manager of Breakthrough Schools: D.C., City Bridge Foundation

  • Ellen London, Executive Director, Communities In Schools of the Nation’s Capital

  • Johnny Sidbury, a Dreamer and D.C. resident featured in the film

Date and Time

Location

The Miracle Theatre

535 8th Street Southeast

Washington, DC 20003

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