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In the month of February Tri-C’s Metro campus hosted a black history month film festival. In attendance were students, faculty, and a group of 50 scholars attending E-Preps Cliff campus. The festival featured “The Hate U Give” starring Amanda Stenberg as Star Carter who witnesses a fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. With the confliction of her upper-class high school and the lower-class neighborhood she lives in, she must find her voice and take a stand for what’s right. This film provided an aspect on the current “Black Lives Matter” movement and was the feature to kick off the festival. Student Life additionally offered attendees free popcorn and candy during the film.

Additional features were “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of HBCUs” and “The American Experience: Freedom Summer”. These features laid out the discourse of issues such as police brutality, the important history of black colleges and universities, and the importance of voting in the current age. Historically, young voter turnouts have been the lowest but with films about voting and education it provides awareness not only to current students but future students such as the E-Prep scholar attendees. Following each feature were open Q&As where students from E-Prep were able to hear perspective of these issues from students ranging ages 18 to 60 and also got in on the discussion as well. This event was organized by Lisanetta McDade, student life coordinator at Metro campus.

The goal was to go beyond simply celebrating the month, it allowed dialogue on what current issues African Americans are facing in this country and the importance of the black experience in education and the legal system which are why these films were chosen. Tri-C’s partnership with Central State (HBCU) assists students with transferring to receive their bachelor’s degree from the university.  “We wanted to bring something that was current and wanted to also bring in historical elements not only that but we are an institution of higher learning.” McDade stated. “Education doesn’t always have to be from your structured curriculum but from workshops or activities that may spark something from within and it’s about bringing opportunities to not only students but staff and faculty.” Dean Miller of E-Prep was also very excited that students from the school were able to attend because it gave them the opportunity to see what community college has to offer and that it is an option and of course they admired the new building.

The event was as entertaining as it was informal providing insight on diversity which is important at Tri-C. Other organizations include the Black American Council and Lambda Gender-Sexuality Alliance you can visit Tri-C online for details about your campus’s organizations. Student Life at the Metro Campus intends to continue the film festival, potentially offering great black films and even greater conversation. For more information contact your campuses transfer center.

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