Image from King’s College  PR  Department
Image from King’s College PR Department

“Agents of Change,” a powerful new documentary about the protest movement led by black students on college campuses in the late 1960s and its connection to the Black Lives Matter movement of today, will screen in the Burke Auditorium on Feb. 19, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. Co-director and co-producer Frank Dawson will present the film and will speak afterward.
“Agents of Change” examines the untold story of the racial conditions on college campuses that led to protests in 49 states and at more than 1,000 schools. The film focuses on events in San Francisco State in 1968 and Cornell University in April 1969, where students struggled for a more relevant and meaningful education, including demanding black and ethnic studies programs. It tells the stories of the courageous students who led these protests–including actor Danny Glover, then a student leader at San Francisco State.
The film’s young activists were caught at the crossroads of the civil rights, black power, and anti-Vietnam War movements at a pivotal time in America’s history. Today, the struggle continues with the Black Lives Matter protests and concurrent nationwide student-led movements. “Agents of Change” links the past to the present and the present to the past, illuminating the erosion of countless hard-fought victories.
The film premieres in Los Angeles on premieres in Los Angeles on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 where it is the festival centerpiece at the Pan African Film Festival. The director will then bring the film to the east coast, where it will be shown at Syracuse University and here at King’s College. The event is co-sponsored by Experiencing the Arts, the Division of Student Affairs and the McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility.
Dr. Noreen O’Connor, professor of English, saw a screening of the film’s rough cut this summer at the American Association of University Professors’ summer institute, and worked to bring the new film to campus.
“I found the film to be so inspiring and powerful, that I immediately wanted to bring it to our students and community at King’s,” O’Connor said. “I attended San Francisco State in the 1990s and I know my studies there were shaped by the changes that student activists worked for. The film shows how these movements took shape, what the students worked for, and the sacrifices they made to change higher education.”
The film, which is co-produced and co-directed by Frank Dawson and Abby Ginzberg with a musical score by celebrated award-wining composer Patrice Rushen. Dawson is a former network television executive and current Associate Dean at Santa Monica College. Ginzberg is a Peabody® Award winning director, who has been making films about race and social justice issues for over three decades. They are both graduates of Cornell University and were present when the events depicted in the film took place.