Coe College is hosting a series of films about the impact of incarceration

The college recently received the Iowa Humanities Project grant for its discussion of free movies

Coe College’s Hickok Hall is shown on September 15, 2017. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Coe College recently received the Iowa Humanities Project grant for its Free Movie Discussion Series.

The grant, from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, will support the college’s film discussion series, Lives Behind Bars.

The series is free and open to the public with the aim of creating a conversation about the impact of incarceration on individuals and their communities. Support was also provided by the Iowa Arts Council.

The Iowa Humanities Grant supports public projects that encourage contemplation, spark conversation, and engage the community.

Gina Hausknecht, a professor of literature and creative writing, curated the series with experience teaching in Iowa prisons. Hausknecht will facilitate the first and last discussion of the series and the other moderators will be members of the Coe College community.

“At a time when many facets of the criminal justice system are part of our civic discourse in Iowa, this public series will use a humanities-based approach to foster informed critical thinking about problems and solutions,” Hausknecht said. . “The series as a whole will create space for the examination of restorative and restorative alternatives to our current approaches to school discipline, community corrections and sentencing.”

The series will feature four documentary films, bringing a range of perspectives on the experience of incarceration. All released films are widely available on streaming services and local public libraries, and screened publicly.

Each film will screen on a Sunday at 2 p.m. in Kesler Auditorium at Hickok Hall, followed by a panel discussion the following Thursday at 7 p.m., also at Hickok Hall.

The first film and debate will revolve around “13th” (2016), directed by Ava DuVernay. “13th” will screen at 2 p.m. Sunday, and the 75-minute discussion for the film will then take place at 7 p.m. on March 31.

The films will be scheduled every two months, with the debates taking place on the last Thursdays of May, July and September.

Reservations for series events are requested but not required. Contact Beth Valenta at [email protected] or (319) 399-8523 to reserve a place for an individual or group.

Comments: (319) 398-8255; [email protected]

About Herbert L. Leonard

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