By Dylan Vanderson
The ResetGR Foundation is hosting a panel discussion that will follow a screening of “The 13th,” a documentary detailing America’s history of racial inequality, today at Grand Rapids Community College.
“The 13th” highlights the prison system and perceived government targeting of minorities. The movie focuses on legal enslavement practices that have been perpetrated since the installment of the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery and freed all slaves. It includes practices such as mass incarceration, oppression and convict leasing.
“I think it is important for students and educators to be exposed to this information as it gives a descriptive, convincing, and concrete explanation for why black males make-up 50 percent of America’s prison population despite the fact they only represent six 6 percent of the American population,” said GRCC Associate Professor and/Counselor Andre R. Fields. “Many people are convinced that black males are totally at fault for this statistical imbalance when in all actuality, American racism plays a major role in the overrepresentation of black males in the prison system.”
“The 13th” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards, and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards. The film was written and directed by Ava DuVernay, who has also directed films like “I Will Follow,” “Middle of Nowhere,” and the critically acclaimed “Selma.”
The event is being put on by the ResetGR Foundation based out of Grand Rapids. According to the organization’s website, “ResetGR’s mission is to create a healthy, safe, and inclusive community, by providing education, literacy, and advocacy for those who have disenfranchised by the criminal justice system.”
After Tuesday’s screening, there will be a panel of ResetGR members who are taking questions and discussing the film, ResetGR’s mission, and other related topics. To learn more information about ResetGR you can visit their website here.
The screening is taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. in room 168 in the Applied Technology Center Auditorium, located on 151 Fountain St. Admission to the event is free and open to everyone.