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PUSHOUT:  THE CRIMINALIZATION OF BLACK GIRLS IN SCHOOLS is a feature length documentary that takes a deep dive into the lives of Black girls and the practices, cultural beliefs and policies that disrupts one of the most important factors in girls’ lives – education.

PREMIERE

SCREENING

DECEMBER

07

1:00 PM TO 3:00 PM

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The New York Public Library,
515 Malcolm X Boulevard,
New York, NY 10037

New York, NY

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About the Film

PUSHOUT: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF BLACK GIRLS IN SCHOOLS is a feature length documentary that takes a deep dive into the lives of Black girls and the practices, cultural beliefs and policies that disrupts one of the most important factors in girls’ lives – education.

The documentary underscores the challenges Black girls face with insight from experts across the country who have worked extensively in the field of social justice, gender equality and educational equity. These experts give context to the crisis and provide a roadmap for how our educational system and those who interact with Black girls can provide a positive rather than punitive response to behaviors that are often misunderstood or mis-represented.

While the challenges facing Black boys in this country have garnered national attention, absent from that conversation was how girls of color, particularly Black girls, are being impacted. PUSHOUT addresses that crisis.

The documentary focuses on challenges Black girls face, emphasizing first-person narratives from girls. We hear from them as young as the age of seven and as old as 19. They describe navigating a society that often marginalizes and dismisses them.

At the same time the documentary lays out how adults and policy makers can address the needs of these young girls and women with positive responses that can short circuit the pervasive over punishment of Black girls.

The documentary covers

  • Profiles Black girls as they address how schools have hindered, but also helped them navigate their lives.
  • Looks at the consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how trauma experienced in childhood influences adult outcomes.
  • Examines how awareness of childhood trauma can help girls redirect their lives.
  • Examines how school officials – including principals and teachers can find new pathways for discipline that concentrate on the reasons behind certain behaviors rather than punishing them.
  • Profiles schools and organizations that are making a difference in Black girls lives –including African American Female Excellence (Oakland Unified School District), Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls (Columbus, Ohio), National Crittendon (Portland, Oregon), S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective (Miami, Florida), and EMERGE (Oakland, California).  All discuss alternatives to suspensions and expulsions, inculcating community-based and more culturally appropriate responses.
  • Explains how “adultification” of Black girls – seeing them as older and more sexually mature than they really are – impacts the response of adults. This in-turn looks at how the development of the adolescent brain influences young people’s ability to make rational and positive decisions.
  • Profiles teachers, mentors, judges and principals who have found new ways of working with Black girls that emphasize their inherent value and dignity.

WATCH THE TRAILER

FILM CREDITS

A Woman in the Room Productions | A Film By Monique Morris & Jacoba Atlas PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls In Schools. Music By, Climbing Poetree; Edited By, Virginie Danglades; Director of Photography, Clare Major; Additional Photography, Shanlee Alvarez; Executive Producers, Jacoba Atlas, Monique W. Morris, Denise Pines; Supervising Producer, Lia Dosik Carney. Written By Monique W. Morris & Jacoba Atlas. Directed by Jacoba Atlas.