Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Middle (X) - Independent Lens (X) - Civics and Government (X) - U.S. History (X)

Shmuly Yanklowitz's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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Shmuly Yanklowitz is an intellectual rabbinical student at New York City's Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and a passionate activist. A Modern Orthodox Jew, he feels compelled to break boundaries, to resist becoming an old-style rabbi stuck within the walls of the synagogue.

Bilai Ansari's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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Bilal Ansari is an African American father of three and a student in the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary. He works tirelessly in the Connecticut prison system, where inmates often convert to Islam, but where he is also the victim of a hate crime perpetrated by some of his co-workers.

Rob Pene's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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Rob Pene was born in American Samoa and came to the United States on a baseball scholarship. Unsuccessful in his major-league tryouts, he pursues his passion through an urban ministry. He also writes and performs Christian rap. The sudden death of his father challenges Pene’s commitment to his chosen path.

Steven Gamez's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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This film tells the story of Steven Gamez who is studying to become a Catholic Priest. Steven is a Tejano (Texan-Mexican), born and raised on San Antonio’s rough West Side. He dreams of returning to his neighborhood and serving the poor.

Tahera Ahmed's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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Tahera Ahmad is an outspoken young woman from a traditional Pakistani-American family. She is a coach and mentor for Muslims in high school while studying to be an Islamic chaplain. A trip to Egypt takes her out into the world for the first time, where she reflects on being a leader.

Jeneen Robinson's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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Jeneen Robinson is an African American single mother, as well as a newly ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. She balances the responsibilities of parenting, schoolwork, and creating an original preaching style.

Clip 5 | The State of Arizona | Sheriff Joe Debates Journalist During Fast Food Bust

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In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary The State of Arizona, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks to reporters during a raid of a fast food restaurant checking for illegal immigrants, where he’s challenged by a journalist about the operation. Meanwhile, patrons debate whether or not illegal immigrants should be allowed to work there.

Origins of a Leader’s Voice | Dolores

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This segment includes an overview of civil rights leader Dolores Huerta’s background and the work she continues to pursue. Major political and social leaders like Luis Valdez talk about the expectations of Latina women of the 1960s and 1970s to assimilate and to marry. Dolores discusses her upbringing and how she challenged the expectations of a Latina woman in the United States by organizing with Fred Ross and the Community Service Organization to protest police brutality and organize workers.

Complexity of Identity and Chicano Power | Dolores

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These two film segments explore the idea of Chicano representation and the power of seeing yourself in the public and political landscape. Prominent Latino leaders, Raul M. Grijalva and Roberto Lovato, discuss what it meant to them as young men to see Latinos organizing and marching together. Dolores’ children talk about how their perception of beauty and good was influenced by the broader culture's pressure to assimilate, and how Dolores taught them to see their own skin and identity as beautiful. Angela Davis says social movements change not only laws, but how people see themselves.

Intersectionality and the Making of a Movement | Dolores

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These three film segments illustrate how the major social movements of the 1960s and 1970s—including civil rights, feminism, environmentalism, Chicano Power, and farmworkers—were interrelated and strengthened one another. The fatal pesticide exposure of farmworkers, including cancer clusters and birth defects caused by DDT, sparked the grape boycott and the concept of environmental justice. Abortion rights as a part of the feminist movement is discussed as an issue that Dolores Huerta had difficulty accepting, though her perspective changed over time under the influence of feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

Power of Organizing | Dolores

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This segment explores Robert Kennedy's significant vocal support of farm worker rights. In order to bolster the strength of Kennedy's campaign, Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers' voter outreach relied on voter motivation tactics like knocking on doors and registering voters at the door that are still effective today. The segment celebrates the impossible odds of the grape strike, the power of grassroots organizing to change policy, and the success and motivational boost of reaching individuals at the national level with the support of Robert Kennedy.

Who Gets to Write History | Dolores

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This segment challenges the absence of civil rights leader Dolores Huerta from the historical record in the United States, and explores the sexism and racism behind this omission. Teacher Curtis Acosta recalls the controversy around including her in his Ethnic Studies curriculum. He and Angela Davis discuss the importance of writing women’s contributions to history.

Legacy | Dolores

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This segment begins with Dolores Huerta’s resignation speech, in Spanish, from the United Farm Workers, delivered at the UFW convention in 2002, and describes the difficulty she had stepping away. Since then, she received the Puffin/Nation award and founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which her daughter Camila Chavez directs, to continue the work of organizing young Latina women to fight for their rights. President Barack Obama gives her credit for coining the phrase, “Si se puede,” “Yes, we can.”