May 9, 2012


Our esteemed Program Director, Phil Hopper, who recently recieved a Fulbright Fellowship to teach film and television in Jerusalem and the West Bank for a year - congratulations Phil! has an important moment from the festival he would like us all to remember.

Geroge Stoney, one of the founders of the social documentary film movement and still going strong at 96! came to the festvial and he and Phil made some important points prior to the screening of George's short film on Bread and Roses, the cultural arm of SEIU 1199's huge healthcare workers union.

When he was introduced at our first Workers Unite Film Festival George Stoney challenged the audience, asking "How do we teach our students about the importance of labor." Later, at the end of that program Festival Program Director Phil Hopper rephrased the question, "How do we teach digital natives, many of whom think they live in the United States of Entertainment, about the value of labor and work?" There are no easy answers but the central question - how to engage young people in labor issues as the social network continues to erode - is important for all of the 99%. We are the United States.

I couldn't agree more!