On May 31st South Seattle Climate Action Network’s Meaningful Movies team partnered with the Mt Baker Community Club’s Race and Social Justice team to show the film, Traces of the Trade. This important movie explores some contentious questions: What is the full story of the northern slave trade? What responsibility does white America bear for the past wrongs and contemporary legacy of slavery? Why is it so difficult for black and white Americans to have this conversation? Over 90 people attended and close to 70 people stayed for the discussion period after the film. We had several speakers and organizations who came including Delbert Richardson who set up a traveling historical exhibit with artifacts from the slave trade. When audience members saw and touched the iron spiked collar and manacles it helped many of them really feel the horror of what happened to enslaved black Americans. So many people kept arriving, we had to keep setting up chairs. After the film, audience members were so engaged in passionate conversations that it was challenging to ask them to stop when we needed to clean and close up. The community conversations allowed people to explore our shared history, our shared pain, our shared humanity and our shared hope. Working with Meaningful Movies, this important event was also part of the Conversations About Race and Equity series organized by the Mt Baker Community Club.
SSCAN is grateful to the Mt Baker Community Club for their support for Meaningful Movies. We know that these events move issues from the head to the heart and help people both understand important social justice issues and also find ways to take action. Over the past 15 years, Meaningful Movies venues have screened hundreds of documentaries for thousands of people. In 2017 alone, the organization screened 168 documentaries at 21 venues and over 7,250 people attended. It was able to do this because there are incredibly dedicated leaders at each of the venues who believe in the value and promise of this organization. There are over 150 volunteers who support local venues and the umbrella organization doing film research, tech support, advertising, bookkeeping, training and much more. As volunteer leaders for the Mt Baker Meaningful Movies venue, we understand that we need more places for people to engage in important discussions about the challenges that our world is facing. Each Meaningful Movies venue is different, but we are all working together to try and support true democracy, peace and justice for all. The Meaningful Movies Project has allowed us to work together as a network and as a community to do this. This organization is helping to change the world for the better – through the incredible movies that we show, the powerful conversations that are happening at our events, the relationships that are being formed and through calls to action.
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We hope to see you at the next Meaningful Movie in Mount Baker on the last Thursday of the month. (Except August and December.)
– The SSCAN Meaningful Movies Team