Loudspeaker Films and TEACHED Join the Global #GivingTuesday Movement

Occurring this year on December 1, #GivingTuesday helps to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.


TEACHED’s mission is to highlight the multifaceted experience of underrepresented communities through film. Through this campaign we hope to increase our outreach of those we are able to put on the loudspeaker. We believe that these underrepresented stories are important and wish to share them across wide audiences of parents, students, and policy makers to facilitate discussion among community members on these demanding issues.

Those who are interested in joining TEACHED’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit http://www.teached.org/donate/ . 

Posted on November 18, 2015 and filed under Support Us.

What Young People Really Need

By TEACHED Intern Zachary Dorcinville


I have overcome many obstacles to become the person I am today. Watching my mother push through her illnesses while trying and succeeding to make ends meet for my sister and I has given me the courage to conquer whatever challenges life throws at me. Resiliency is a trait that I am blessed to have, and I want to instill it in people who feel like there is no way out of the darkness.

When my mother passed when I was 14, I felt defeated. No motivation, just depression and anxiety. I was able to get help from my family and the correct clinical care, but I want to help others who may not have access to the support they need to find light at the end of the tunnel. I want to tell those who are struggling as I did that they have a purpose, and that there is something to live for.

Suicide among young people is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., and most are linked to poor mental health. Adolescents dealing with mental health issues simply aren't getting the help they need, especially in educational settings. I believe that if schools would take the initiative to incorporate mental health services for young people suffering in silence, suicide among teens would drop dramatically.

Because I know from experience what the suffering of depression feels like, I am developing an app called Recupery, which will give teens an easy gateway to access a counselor from their mobile device whenever they feel like they need to talk to someone right away. Developing this app is one of my biggest goals, because I know my mother would be proud of my decision to help young people like me achieve their aspirations by helping them through periods of despondency and placing them in the right state of mind.


Below is a link to a documentary by MSNBC that explains the reason behind Recupery and why it is so important to me.


Posted on November 18, 2015 .

Race & Justice in America: An Atlantic Summit

On Nov. 12th, 2015, we will show preview clips from our upcoming short film "Think of Calvin" at a tremendous Race & Justice Summit in Washington, DC being organized by the Atlantic magazine's Atlantic Live program and featuring Atlantic correspondent and author Ta-Nehisi Coates.  TEACHED Producer/Director Kelly Amis will speak at the event. To register, go here

Education Posting


In DeRay Mckesson on Why Blackness is Not a Weapon, TEACHED creator Kelly Amis sits down with the young civil rights crusader who, since driving to Ferguson, Missouri to take part in the protests surrounding the police shooting of Michael Brown, has since become one of the nation's go-to visionaries on how a future America would look if equality became our true priority.

I Don't Want My Brother to be a Hashtag

For the past few weeks, I have been helping my parents and fourteen-year-old brother get ready to move from their small town in New Jersey to Charlotte, North Carolina.  As we packed up fourteen years' worth of memories into cardboard boxes, I felt a wide range of emotions: nostalgia, as I looked at my middle school report card; amusement as I stumbled across an embarrassing photo of my older sister; and a tinge of selfishness as I wondered how life would be different now that my parents would no longer be ninety minutes away.

But tonight, as we shared one last dinner together before their car ride south, I felt an overwhelming sense of fear – not for being alone, but fear for my little brother as he leaves the home he has always lived in, the friends he has always had, and the small town where nearly everyone knows who he is.

Are you a techie who is passionate about education equality?

We are SEEKING a TECH ANGEL! Are you a savvy html coder & website developer looking for a way to contribute to social justice and race equality? We need a new "tech angel" to provide 3-5 hours per month helping us with email updates & press releases (on Vertical Response) and website improvements (Squarespace and Wix). Must know code (we'll write the content)! Our websites our TEACHED.org and LoudspeakerFilms.com.

TEACHED Update July 2015

Don't miss the latest! Oakland Youth Challenge Silicon Valley, Code Oakland receives awards, upcoming film festival screenings, and more.

NOT ON OUR MAILING LIST? Join on the side bar (to the right and down).

The "Silent Holocaust"

I recently watched President Obama giving his beautiful eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of those dear souls shot in Charleston, and it inspired the following writng. I'm not feeling very eloquent after two weeks of deep sorrow about what's happening in our country (there have been so many horrific tragedies, but what happened to those in Charleston.....it's impossible to fathom what those innocent people went through) plus personal reasons (suddenly losing a very dear friend, also in a way terrible to imagine). I can barely remember what day it is. But maybe that's why I want to speak honestly and without filter and challenge myself and others to consider the following.

San Francisco Black Film Festival

We are honored that our latest short film Code Oakland (the first to be released for TEACHED Vol. II) will be playing this weekend at the San Francisco Black Film Festival.  Check out our beautiful film page on the SFBFF site HERE.  Producer/Director Kelly Amis will join other filmmakers for a Q&A after the screening.

For tickets, go HERE




Go to OAKLANDSUMMER to a find a free program to learn skills and design your future career or company.

Oakland is a dynamic, diverse and ever-evolving city, with a strong history of activism and protest (it's where the Black Panther Movement began, for one) and a love of technology as a social justice tool.

Code Oakland Screening Series for Youth!

We're so excited to launch our first youth screening series here in Code Oakland's hometown! The first event is at Impact Hub Oakalnd -- such a cool venue -- and one where we shot part of the film no less!  This will be a youth-centered event to celebrate the stars of Code Oakland, especially the young up-and-coming tech stars featured in the film. Organized in collaboration with Oakland Public Libraries, Youth Radio, Downtown TAY, Black Girls Code, #YesWeCode, Qeyno Labs and other great local organizations, this fun event will include food, entertainment (the local all-girl band, Sisters Keeper!), the short film screening and a taste of the hackathon experience. 

Then, we have two screening events coming up at Oakland Public Libraries, 81st Ave. Branch and Rockridge Branch. Some details on the flier below and more coming soon!

Thanks to the Kapor Center for Social Impact for sponsoring these great events for Oakland youth!

Go HERE to grab free tickets for the Impact Hub screening on May 9th, 6:30 pm. For the library screenings, just show up! We're going to give you an opportunity to see what coding & hackathons are all about -- NO experience required.

Haven't seen the Code Oakland trailer? Watch it HERE.

Baltimore 2015

By Kelly Amis

Last night as protests and riots were unleashed in Baltimore, 
I avoided Facebook knowing what would be out there. Someone actually tagged me in a ridiculous statement just to start a fight (I didn't take the bait).

These are tragic times -- and they are a consequence of generations (of CENTURIES' worth of an entire people) experiencing the same racism, injustice, belittlement, a million daggers at the soul and body, and the severe, relentless consequences of economic opportunity inequality (which I think is worse in a society when there is SO much wealth and so little concern for how anyone makes it -- for example, using loopholes and placing your "headquarters" offshore to avoid paying taxes. That's also looting, but it impacts everyone, everywhere.) 

I am GRATEFUL that I was teaching in South Central during the 1992 riots, because I knew the reality of what was happening there every day (though the media only focused on the Rodney King verdict, which was the match that lit the kindling): behind every insane story
we hear on the news, like the King beating and now the Freddie Gray murder, there are a million big to small injustices we the general public doesn't hear about. It is tragic that we are still seeing this, but the underlying causes haven't changes (maybe they've even gotten worse). 

Where does anger go when it must be swallowed for so long? I don't promote violence. But this is a reaction to violence, too.


deadCenter Film Festival

We're excited to be going back to Oklahoma's deadCENTER Film Festival, where we screened our first film, The Path to Prison, to a wonderful audience of indie filmmakers (and indie film lovers). It's run by great people who are committed to art and social justice.

It's interesting to consider the importance of films that bring issues of race equality to the forefront, especially with some of the news coming from Oklahoma in recent months, where a fraternity was exposed for its deep-seated culture of racism (fortunately caught on camera). It makes one wonder, how far away is "history"?

It was in Okahoma where George McLaurin, a black teacher, was admitted to Oklahoma's school of Education, but only under Jim Crow laws, meaning he had to sit in a segregated smaller classroom, work in a segregated private space of the library, and only eat in the cafeteria during designated times when white students weren't present. In 1950, two years later, his case was argued in front of the Supreme Court in George W. McLauren v. Oklahoma Board of Regents for Higher Education, where this segregation was proven unconstitutional.  But as we all know, changing laws and changing hearts and minds are very different things.

We look forward to bringing Code Oakland to Oklahoma and having some of the candid conversations with audiences that TEACHED is all about. For screening details, go to:   http://www.deadcenterfilm.org/

Posted on April 21, 2015 .

What would you do?

Have you ever heard a white person say something like: slavery is over, why don't blacks ____ (fill in the blank)? I wonder the opposite: how does anyone continue to have spirit, strength and hope in a country where this story can happen (and where Trayvon can happen, and Walter Scott can happen, and millions and millions of stories known or unknown to the public can happen...over centuries)?

I know. I talk about this a lot. It's because I have had the honor of teaching and working in black communities (not to mention being "adopted" by my second family in DC) but also because I know HISTORY. On the black-white issue, we have comparisons to make to South Africa's apartheid, but another comparison we need more people to see has to do with Germany and the Holocaust. Michelle Alexander calls what is happening to black men in America a "silent holocaust," and I agree. (Read her book The New Jim Crow if you haven't).

The important question is, I think: if you could go back to Germany in the 1930s, recognizing what was happening around you (or to you), what would you do? Today is Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. what a good day to reflect on history and change the future.

What will you do?


Here's the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/04/15/closing-the-book-on-jon-burge-chicago-cop-accused-of-brutally-torturing-african-american-suspects/?tid=hp_mm&hpid=z3

Yom HaShoah: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_HaShoah

Upcoming Code Oakland Screenings!

Our newest film, Code Oakland, is already getting into film festivals not just around the U.S., but the world! We have screenings coming up in St. Tropez, Canada and even one in India (not on the list yet -- stay tuned for those details). Meanwhile check out the dates for the Art of Brooklyn, Julien Dubuque, Humboldt Internat'l, "(In)Justice for All" in Chicago and more.

Go to our screenings page for dates & details.

Also, if you're in the Bay Area, save the date of May 9th, 6:30-8:30, for a very special screening of Code Oakland at Impact Hub Oakland! Details coming soon.

Art of Brooklyn laurels 2015.jpg

We ♥ NYC!

Thanks to React to Film, NYCAN & its Exec. Director Derrell Bradford, the Museum of the Moving Image and the staff of Loudspeaker Films, we had a fantastic premiere screening of Code Oakland in NYC. Read the details here, the press release here and watch the student presentation and panel discussion HERE

Our Producer/Director Kelly Amis and Code Oakland film star Kalimah Priforce also got to join React to Film in ringing the Nasdaq bell! Thank you to React to Film founders Dennis and Coralie Dennis for this amazing opportunity.

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Working seven out of six hours!

This is interesting, from Education Week (article follows):

"One in 4 (American) teachers report leading class longer than the length of the school day, according to a new analysis of a national survey"...."That's only possible...if teachers are lecturing in empty classrooms, have no lunch breaks, team-teach, or teach students in overlapping shifts. While the last two do happen—rarely—the first is ridiculous...and the second would typically run against teachers' contracts."

So American teachers have been over-reporting how many hours they spend in front of a classroom (over-reporting to a degree that can't be argued: 25% claim they are working longer than the actual school day itself). And these numbers don't even begin to look at the massive variation in what teachers are actually doing when "leading class," only how long they say they are doing so.

We love good teachers. We honor good teachers. Good teachers and schools are arguably the most direct way to eliminate inequality and promote democracy in America. But we also see that the profession has become one dominated by a culture of non-accountability, negativity and refusal to acknowledge reality that is sometimes, as this article reflects, truly unbelievable. How did the research mentioned below get used so much (U.S. teachers were supposedly teaching class up to 73% more than in other countries?!)?

Posted on March 18, 2015 and filed under by Kelly Amis.