News release from the YWCA:
Documentary â€˜Woke Up Black’ to Screen at IPFW, YWCA Northeast Indiana on Thursday, April 25
(April 23, 2013) – Chicago filmmaker and activist Mary F. Morten’s documentary Woke Up Black, winner of the 2012 Black Excellence Award in Documentary Filmmaking, will screen twice on Thursday, April 25. The free screenings are open to the public, and will be followed by discussions with Ms. Morton and Sheldon Smith, one of the documentary’s subjects.
The first screening and discussion will be 1:30-3:30 pm at IPFW (Walb Student Union, Rooms 114-116), and the second at 5:00-7:00 pm at YWCA Northeast Indiana (1610 Spy Run Avenue).
The film focuses on five Black youth, along with their struggles and triumphs as they start their journey into adulthood. The film places at its center the voices of Black youth – their ideas, attitudes and opinions that are often overlooked in society at large. As Ace, one of the film’s subjects, says, “The youth do have a voice, but it’s up to us to really speak our voice.”
The two events are hosted by YWCA Northeast Indiana as a part of its Stand Against Racism activities, and IPFW’s Center for Women and Returning Adults, and Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. Those interested in attending can sign up by email.
Sheldon Smith, documentary subject – Sheldon has been involved in the non-profit world since the age of 13 when he began working as a community youth organizer in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood. The Dovetail Project, of which Sheldon serves as executive director, is a nonprofit organization that empowers young Black fathers ages 17-24 with parenting, life and job readiness skills. Smith became a father at the age of 20, and determined to be the best father he could be for his daughter, Jada, he designed The Dovetail Project to bring together resources he found lacking in his own life, and the lives of other young fathers in Woodlawn. In 2011, he was selected as a recipient of the International Youth Foundation’s YouthActionNet Social Entrepreneur Fellowship. In 2012, Sheldon was awarded the Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors against poverty by the Marguerite Casey Foundation, and was honored with a Fellowship in Boston by the Petra Foundation.
Mary F. Morten, documentary filmmaker – Mary is a Chicago-based filmmaker and activist committed to social change though video and film development. She is the president of Morten Group, a consulting firm specializing in social change through skills development, public policy and advocacy. Mary has served as producer/director for several films covering national policy initiatives, women’s rights and youth development. Mary is frequently seen in national and local media outlets for her expertise as a women’s advocate. Her background includes 20 years of executive leadership at nonprofit organizations as well as a mayoral appointment in Chicago government. She has received numerous honors for her work with women and girls and in the philanthropic community.
About the YWCA
The YWCA is the voice for every woman. For over a century, the YWCA has spoken out and taken action on behalf of women and girls. The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Over 2 million people participate each year in YWCA programs at more than 1,300 locations across the U.S. Worldwide, the YWCA serves more than 25 million women and girls in 125 countries.
Since 1894, the YWCA Northeast Indiana, which serves Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells, and Whitley counties, has given voice to the concerns of women and provided services to meet the changing needs of women and their families. A nonprofit organization, the YWCA operates Indiana’s oldest domestic violence shelter, providing shelter and services to women, men and children escaping domestic violence. The YWCA welcomes the interest and participation of both women and men committed to this vision. The organization receives support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and other groups, and is a United Way Partner Agency in each county served.