2015: Our Year in Review

These are just some of the highlights of what has been a big year for the TEACHED short film series.

Interview with DeRay Mckesson

o   Black Lives Matter: a proclamation, a challenge or a question? TEACHED director Kelly Amis had the opportunity to sit down with educator and civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson as he explained the power of these three words. DeRay is a fearless crusader who is using social media to connect hundreds of thousands of people ready for change. Watch the interview here

New Team Members

o   This year brought some new faces to TEACHED including talented cinematographer and film editor ShakaJamal, Outreach & Events Coordinator Fatima Nasiyr (both based in Oakland, CA) and two new interns representing the East Coast (NY) Zachary Dorcinville and Angelica Flowers.  Read more about all of the amazing people contributing to TEACHED here

The Atlantic’s Race and Justice in America Summit

o   We were honored that Producer/Director Kelly Amis and the featured family in one of our newest short films Think of Calvin were invited to participate at The Atlantic magazine’s Race and Justice Summit in Washington, DC this year. This was a huge milestone to help share the family's story with the nation and engage in a dialogue with key players in the fight for justice and equality. You can watch the segment on CSPAN here and don't miss the trailer for Think of Calvin here. 

Sharing the Code of Oakland

o   With the release of Code Oakland this past year, we were able to share with the world what organizations are doing in Oakland to show that inclusivity in the tech industry is powerful and possible. Code Oakland screened at numerous festivals across the world winning several awards including best short documentary at the Harlem International Film Festival, two awards from the (in)Justice For All Film Festival, best documentary at the Humboldt Film Festival and an Honorable Mention Jury Award for Social Impact from the Napa Valley Film Festival. Director Kelly Amis also received the Canada International Film Festival's Rising Star Award for Code Oakland.  If you'd like to organize a screening of this timely film for your group, school or workplace, go here

Introducing the Future of Tech

o   Through our Code Oakland screenings, we were able to give voice to youth who are ready to change the face and future of the tech industry. At one great event, we invited the youth stars of Code Oakland to do an "expert panel" about race, technology and opportunity. These students, who live within driving distance of Silicon Valley, have some questions about the way the industry is developing and we hope Silicon Valley is listening. Watch their awesome panel discussion here (and the extended version here). 

New Voices On the Loudspeaker

o   Loudspeaker Films, the independent production company that produces TEACHED, partnered with Education Post this year to reach a broader audience and help amplify the voices of those not heard often enough in the fight for race and education equality. Check out our multi-media contributions to Education Post including Like Father, Like SonCalifornia Dreamin' and In Oakland, It's Either Code or Be Coded.    

Getting Personal

o   With racial tensions being at an all-time high in this country and indeed around the world, our team members shared their own feelings and experiences as events unfolded this year. Ashley Johnson shared with us her fears in the must-read I Don't Want My Brother to be a Hashtag; interns Angelica Flowers and Zachary Dorcinville shared their stories of resiliency and strength in How I Became Who I Am Today and What Young People Really Need; and Producer/Director Kelly Amis expressed her thoughts about race in America in The 'Silent Holocaust' and Baltimore.

Taking Over NYC

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o   OK, maybe we didn't take it over, but it seemed like we owned it for a few minutes thanks to React to Film, which not only organized a screening of Code Oakland at the gorgeous Museum of the Moving Image there, but also invited Producer/Director Kelly Amis and Code Oakland star Kalimah Priforce to join them in ringing the Nasdaq bell early one morning last spring.  

And now we look forward to ringing in the New Year!