Thursday, November 18, 2010

Saint Mike's Students make Selma Documentary

On Dec 9th at 7:00PM, the student documentary film Bridging the Gap was screened at Eddie's in Alliot.

This ten minute film was produced by the History students from my fall semester class: The Society of Saint Edmund in the Era of Civil Rights.

It is so beautiful! I am so proud of the group and their work! It was an amazing evening with the film, a panel discussion and the two interns, Victoria and Meghan, who hosted us on our study tour in Selma, Alabama.

Although Liz Scott, our archivist and my co-instructor for the course, and I followed the development of the film since our return from Selma in mid-October, the students have been the directors, producers and editors.

This film project is the culmination of their study of the era, their work in the archives here at St. Mike's, and reflected their civic engagement through the seminar during our study tour/service trip to Selma.

The trip was undoubtedly the highlight of the course. we were able to visit some of the most historic sites associated with the Civil Rights movement in Alabama including Dr. King's Dexter Street Church, the Birmingham church where the four little girls were killed by a bomb, the Edmund Pettis bridge, the Dallas County Courthouse, and the capital steps in Montgomery.

The experience of traveling to Alabama, meeting the people of the Edmundite mission and the Alabamians they served was powerful.

Although this was my second trip to Selma, it is still a very emotional experience for me. It was more so for the students, most of whom have never been in the South, especially the rural South.

It was amazing to walk in the footsteps of the brave people who believed dignified citizenship so important that they were willing to risk life and limb to make their stand.

We also toured current day facilities that serve the poor, the disabled, and the elderly. Our visit to the children's hospital at the City of Saint Jude was especially moving.

Our hosts in Selma, the Edmundite mission folk and their friends, worked hard to introduce us to the joys, challenges and amazing need that exists there today.

We all came back with a renewed sense of the need and our responsibility to those who do are less fortunate. I am personally grateful for the opportunity to get to know my students in this course and to work with Liz, Meghan, Victoria and Father Steve.

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