If you are in Chicago on Feb 19th, please consider joining us for this event.
Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story takes a hard look at some of the complex social issues concerning a 16-year-old girl who is serving a life sentence for murder. Cyntoia Brown found herself in a series of bad situations that led to her killing a man who picked her up for sex. The filmmaker spent nearly six years exploring her life and familial relationships in order to answer a very basic question… why? This documentary pushes aside assumptions about what we think about violence and takes a glance into a startling social mirror that reveals a strong connection between violence in her maternal line and a predestined childhood filled with bad decisions.
Following the film, there will be a reading of a poem written in prison by Jacqueline Montanez, who was given a life sentence in Illinois at the age of 15. Then Mariame Kaba from Project NIA will lead a discussion about the high rate of youth incarceration in the U.S. and the inherent flaws of our juvenile justice system.
Shobha Mahadev, Project Director, Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children
Sharmili Majmudar, Executive Director, Rape Victim Advocates
Vikki Rompala, LCSW, Chicago Child Trauma Center at La Rabida Children’s Hospital
Twyanda Major, Visible Voices (CLAIM)
Dominique McKinney, Young Women’s Empowerment Project (YWEP)
Moderator: Mariame Kaba, Founder, Project NIA
Saturday, February 19, 2011, 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St., Chicago
In the Claudia Cassidy Theatre
This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP needed.
We are asking attendees to please bring a new young adult book to the screening to donate to incarcerated youth at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and IYC- Warrenville
To see the trailer, click here.
Presented by Project NIA, The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, ITVS and WTTW Channel 11 in collaboration with the exhibition, Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art.
** Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story will have its premiere on the Peabody and Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by America Ferrera, on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 10 PM (check local listings).