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Video About CBHS To Be in Film Festival

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Video About CBHS To Be in Film Festival
Posted on 09/28/2020
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A video made by EL Education about Casco Bay High School and the way it supports and empowers students, titled “Walking in Solidarity,” will be a featured short video in the This Is Our Chance Film Festival. The free virtual film festival will run from Oct. 6-27 and focuses on the intersection of race, education, and youth empowerment.

A group of education leaders and organizations spearheaded the This Is Our Chance Film Festival, and its website explains the thinking behind it: “The COVID-19 pandemic has up-ended the regular school experience for nearly 2 billion young people worldwide. At the same time, communities are confronting the insidious realities of systemic racism and grappling with how it shows up in schools. Both crises demand we step into a new future where the mindsets, structures, policies, and habits that have perpetuated educational inequities for centuries will no longer pre-determine the fates of future generations. This FREE film festival is designed to support that new future.”

The goal of the festival is to open minds and catalyze many thousands of conversations and action-steps towards reimagining public schools. 

CBHS’ “Walking in Solidarity” video will be one of three short videos in the first week of the festival. Organizers said the CBHS video was chosen because it carries messages about school and district transformation, race and equity, the role of the community and the importance of powerful storytelling to change minds.

The video was made in 2017 and features the Walk of Solidarity made by the high school’s students and staff in reaction to a racially biased hate crime against four Casco Bay High School students as they waited for the bus on Allen Avenue in January of that year. Hundreds of students, along with staff, walked from the school to the bus stop a few days after the attack to support their fellow students, carrying signs with such slogans as “Love Will Win,” and repeating chants such as, “No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here.”

CBHS Principal Derek Pierce said, “We are honored to be included in this timely film festival. The piece deftly documents an important moment in our school’s young history and demonstrates the power of youth and love and community to overcome hate.”

The video was made by EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning), a leading K-12 nonprofit focused on raising student achievement across diverse schools and communities. CBHS, founded in 2005, is a mentor school within the EL Education network.

Register for the film festival to receive full access to a robust slate of films and resources that will generate critical conversations at home and in the classroom.

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with approximately 6,750 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students – 35 percent – come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 60 languages. About 53 percent of the district’s students are white and 47 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced school lunch.