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This is from my feature documentary work in progress. I filmed five peaceful BLM and other protests in and around Atlanta in 2020. This segment combines excerpts from 3 protests: Monroe, Decatur, and Downtown Atlanta. It is painful and horrifying to hear mothers' and other family members' stories of how their sons were killed by police or the criminal justice system--it is disturbing and gut-wrenching, (so if you are concerned it could trigger PTSD, please make the choice that is right for you about watching.) (These are family member stories--no violence is shown.) That being said, I think that at protests people feel safer to say how they really feel. They don't have to be "polite" for the few meager sound bites that they are rationed by most news media. I actually think it is important for the public to hear the pain, anguish, deep loss, and righteous anger of people whose family members have been killed--as well as their insights and analyses, and the actual situations in each story that illustrate different needs for structural and policy changes. Each of these stories powerfully illustrates ways in which racism is embedded in our laws, policies, and institutions--and ways they need to change. Empathy is the foundation of moral development and a catalyst for moral action. I learned a lot from listening to their stories--I had no idea how much I didn't know. I am a white woman, a journalist/educator/LMFT therapist. From here the movie shifts to discussion, the soft, but firm voices in interviews of women leaders in a nonprofit doing Toxic Tours about the environmental racism they are living and dying with (from 2000-2001), and then excerpts from a historic lynching reenactment--so the tone of the movie shifts. My goal is for people experiencing structural racism to share their own experiences and insights. My goal for all of us, but especially people who are not experiencing structural racism or who are experiencing structural privilege--my goal is for us to gain a deep understanding both emotionally and intellectually of how devastating structural racism is; how pervasive and comprehensive it is in its structures; how overwhelming it is for people in its intersectionality; how it robs us all as a community; how it functions as a tool politically; how racism is perpetuated, increased, and expanded through these structures; how racist structures create sacrifice zones that benefit corporations; how necessary and urgent it is that we are ALL actively involved in change; big questions that are raised; and insights from each story about specific changes that need to be explored or implemented. (The image I selected is a screen shot from my movie timeline. I took all the video and photos myself--none of it is copyrighted. The video link is unlisted but publicly viewable with the link.)

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