Archive for February, 2019

A Closer Look at – Shola Lynch, Filmmaker and Scholar

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Happy Wednesday! This week we’re talking a closer look at documentary filmmaker Shola Lynch.

Shola was quite accomplished in a number of areas before becoming a filmmaker. For instance, she was a member of the Sesame Street cast as a child! As she got older, she also became a nationally-ranked track star in high school, which led to the track team at University of Texas.

 

She has produced and scripted stories that have aired on BET, CNN, ESPN, HBO Sports, TV One, and PBS.   The Sundance Institute selected Shola as one of five women  who show great promise to be mentored in their prestigious Women’s Filmmaker Initiative. Shola was also recently awarded a prestigious Creative Capital Award for her next film, a narrative on the great liberator Harriet Tubman.  She has been a member of the Documentary Jury of the Sundance Film Festival.

Her feature documentary FREE ANGELA & All Political Prisoners is a first hand account of the events that thrust Angela Davis into the national spotlight from a young college professor to a fugitive on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. The film received critical acclaim and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Excellence for Best Documentary.

 

In 2013, She was named the Curator for Film, Moving Image and Recorded Sound at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Shola holds a Master’s in American History and Public History Management from the University of California, Riverside as well as a graduate degree in journalism from Columbia University. She is also working on a book based on her film Free Angela.

Her first independent documentary, CHISHOLM ’72 – Unbought & Unbossed, follows Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s historic run for president in 1972 and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS’s POV series.  The film won two Independent Spirit Award nominations and a prestigious Peabody for excellence.

 

Be sure to contact us for more information about hosting Shola at your event! Write to us at inquiries@jodisolomonspeakers.com

 

—And that is the story for this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest from all of our speakers, scientists and change makers!

 


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Take a Closer Look: Charles C. Mann

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Happy Wednesday! This week, we’re taking a closer look at science/history journalist and author Charles C. Mann.

Charles C. Mann is the author of 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, a New York Times bestseller, and 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, which won the US National Academy of Sciences’ Keck Award for the best book of the year. As a journalist, Mann has covered the intersection of science, technology, and commerce for many publications in the United States and abroad.

His most recent book is The Wizard and the Prophet, an incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow’s world.

In forty years, Earth’s population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups–Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, nonpolemical new book.

The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose!

 

The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug’s cry. Only in that way can everyone win! Mann delves into these diverging viewpoints to assess the four great challenges humanity faces–food, water, energy, climate change–grounding each in historical context and weighing the options for the future.

 

Please contact us for more information about hosting Charles Mann at your conference or institution!

 

And that is the story for this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest from all of our speakers, scientists and change makers!


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A Closer Look at author/scholar Charles Johnson

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Happy Wednesday! This week, we’re going to take a longer look at author/scholar Charles Johnson.

Actually, the full ‘slash line’ would be author/Buddhist scholar/cartoonist/philosopher/photojournalist/television producer…

 

When asked about the difference between visual art and writing, Johnson said “…when you’re talking about language, you have the possibility of multiple levels of meaning. If I shifted at all from the image to the word it’s because the word is polymorphous and you can create a work of fiction that has more dimensions than a drawing or even a film.”

 

Johnson’s first published work (in fact, perhaps his first thousand published works!) were cartoons! His first was published when he was 17; when he graduated from college, he produced a PBS children’s show called “Charlie’s Pad” which featured his visual art as well.

 

When he won the National Book Award (for MIDDLE PASSAGE) in 1990, he was only the second African-American to win this honor (Ralph Ellison’s INVISIBLE MAN being the first).

 

His newest work is NIGHT HAWKS, a collection of his short fiction

Asked about his study of Buddhism, Johnson said “I still have my roots in Christianity, but have a deep involvement in all forms of Asian thought and meditation. I meditate and I read the literature, and I do other related disciplines because it feels right for me…”

 

After five decades of writing, Johnson is not done: “I love the process of writing. I am at my fullest when I’m writing. I can think of no activity that brings so much of everything that I am—everything I’ve learned, everything I feel, all the techniques at my disposal—into one suspended moment that is the work of art. So it’s very exhausting when it’s working exactly right.”

(All quotes from the December 31st, 2016 edition of The Writer’s Workshop Review)

 

Please contact us for more information about hosting Charles Johnson at your conference or institution!

 

And that is the story for this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest from all of our speakers, scientists and change makers!

 


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