Why is education a national priority in Cuba?
Why is education under attack in the United States?
Why must Puerto Ricans fight for their right to an education?
Join us for the US premiere of
The Fight for Public Education in Puerto Rico
Part of “Days of Action Against the Blockade”
Watch the films.
Meet the Directors.
Talk with those on the front lines of the struggle.
Engage in the discussion.
Envision a better future
Wednesday September 26, 7:00-9:30pm
Landmark E Street Cinema
555 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Tickets at the door, or soon available at brownpapertickets
About the films:
Lucha Si! Fight for Public Education in Puerto Rico – co-directed by Jenifer Wager, Jinnette Morales and Poonam Srivastava – documents the heroic struggle of teachers and students in Puerto Rico as they fight capitalism’s destruction of their education system in the wake of economic and climate crises. The 30-minute film, which features footage from the Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico and its president Mercedes Martinez, is part of a series called Class Wars: Fight for Public Education.
Maestra by Catherine Murphy tells the story of Cuba’s National Literacy Campaign. In 1961, over 250,000 Cuban volunteers taught more than 707,000 fellow Cubans to read and write. Almost half of these volunteer teachers were under 18. More than half were women. Narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, MAESTRA (Spanish for teacher) explores the experiences of nine women who, as young girls, helped eradicate Cuban illiteracy within one year. Inter-weaving recent interviews, archival footage, and campaign photos, this lively 33-minute documentary includes one of the first Cubans of her generation to call herself a feminist and one of the first openly proud members of Cuba’s LGBT community.
Norma Guillard was just 15 when she joined the 1961 Cuba Literacy Campaign. Now a social psychologist in Santiago de Cuba, she was one of the first Cuban women of her generation to call herself a feminist. She primarily works on the issues of gender, race, sexual orientation and issues of diversity and identity in a Cuban and Caribbean context. As a Cuban of African descent, Guillard has also contributed to the lively debates on race and racism in Cuba. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Havana teaching psychology and gender, and a leader of the Cuban Association of Psychologists.
Catherine Murphy is a San Francisco-based filmmaker who has spent much of the last 10 years working in Latin America. She is founder & director of The Literacy Project, a multi-media documentary project on adult literacy in the Americas. As an independent producer, Murphy’s work has largely focused on social documentaries. She has field-produced films like Saul Landau’s Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?, Eugene Corr’s From Ghost Town to Havana, served on the production crew of Gay Cuba; and subtitled Stealing America by Dorothy Fadiman, Jaime Kibben’s The Greening of Cuba, and Out and Refusenicks by Sonja de Vries.
Jenifer Wager is a film director and cinematographer living and work in Newark, NJ. Her previous films include Dare to Dream and Venezuela Rising. She is Assistant Professor of New Media Technology at Essex County College.
Jinnette Morales Diaz is the mother of a Puerto Rican girl with Down Syndrome. An activist for the rights of the functional diversity population in Puerto Rico, she works as a family advocate for children in the Special Education Program in Puerto Rico. She is also the producer of Somos Parte, a radio program aimed at promoting the rights of people with functional diversity.
Poonam Srivastava:Poonam Srivastava is a writer, healer and film producer living and working in the New York City are. She is a producer of the film, Dare to Dream and Cuba’s Latin American Film Festival.
Graduates from the Latin America School of Medicine in Cuba will talk about how studying medicine in Cuba has made them better doctors and more passionate, compassionate advocates for patients.
Other activities of Days of Action include
Visits to Congresspersons and Senators who are members of the education and literacy caucuses
Presentations to university students and professors
Meetings with educational and literacy institutions
A cultural event in solidarity with Cuba
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Organized by the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity and the Institute for Policy Studies.
For more information write to firstname.lastname@example.org