Who We Are student screening w Sean Weiner and Ken Jenkins on stage for q & a

Posted April 1, 2022

Film screening of Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America at the JBFC continues important discussion taking place throughout the U.S.

More than 130 area high school students came to the JBFC on March 30 for a special student screening of Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America. 

It was the first in-person student screening in almost two years to be held at the JBFC Theater. Following the film, students engaged in a Q&A with Westchester Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, moderated by Sean Weiner, JBFC Director of Programs, Media Arts Lab.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for my students to have another point of view on racism, injustice, and the need for them to see their role in society and standing against what they see as wrong and need to change,” one teacher stated.

In addition to the student screening, the JBFC held an evening screening on March 30 with Jenkins and moderator John Nonna, JBFC Board Member, and played this film back in February.

“Every time that you get a chance to watch a film like this, to be able to absorb it, listen and then look at your own local history of where we are right now, helps re-educate everyone and helps people to understand how people might think about certain things, how people make decisions,” Jenkins explained.

Jenkins gave the student screening attendees a couple of homework assignments to ponder.

  1. “What things did you have happen in Westchester, in Ossining, in Peekskill, in Yonkers, wherever you are, that happened that match any of the stories that you heard today?”
  2. “What’s the difference between the world today and when the law was made up?”

One student shared that they really enjoyed the screening and remarked on criminal defense/civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson’s use of language in the film.

“He used the word slaves and he stopped himself from doing that and used the word enslaved, and I feel like he truly understood how powerful his words are,” the student said.

About Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America: Interweaving lectures, personal anecdotes, interviews, and shocking revelations, criminal defense/civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America. Robinson asks all of us to examine who we are, where we come from, and who we want to be.

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