A Community Concern
A film giving visibility to the power of organizing as a way
to improve urban public schools
NOW PART OF THE AMERICAN GRADUATE PROJECT, A NEW PBS INITIATIVE
Across the United States, graduation rates in most urban districts still remain between 50 and 60 percent. A Community Concern is a documentary about people who refuse to accept the system’s failures, and are working for change. Their spirit, passion and commitment shows that when organizers, parents, youth and educators work together, they are successful. It brings together stories of people facing different challenges, but share similar goals.
This film can be screened in organizations, workshops, classrooms, forums, conferences, community gatherings or in your own home.
A Community Concern is sectioned into chapters, so that the film can be viewed:
- as a whole (75 mins)
- as individual stories: Oakland, The Bronx and Boston
- as a thematically grouped set of clips - see suggestions under Workshop Tools
The OAKLAND story shows how it is possible for community members, educators, and policy makers to come together to transform their School District.
The BRONX story shows how a group of organized youth can be the force behind designing their own high school.
The BOSTON story shows the importance of the relationship between school and parents, and how the school system adopted the reform that the community fought for.
As Oakland Community Organization (OCO) Director Ron Snyder explains, the goal of organizing ”is to take the best ideas, incorporate them into practice, and assist community members to get the power needed to maintain them.”
Amy Shaw, Sr. VP of Community Engagement, managing the initiative for the CPB, writes, “The ability to view the film and segments on multiple platforms will be ideal for the community hubs around the country. I so appreciate the work that you are doing and think it is so important.”
“This documentary captures the spirit of parents’ and students’ struggles to confront problems in their schools that are too often seen as overwhelming” - Tom Dolan, California Organizer