The Calhoun School, which was awarded an initial grant of $250,000 in 2012 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create a three-part program for students on Deconstructing Race, announces an expanded joint venture with Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
In its new iteration, the new Deconstructing Race project (formerly known as "Deconstructing Racism") will develop a series of complementary documentary films, videoscribes, companion curriculum, a graphic adaptation of The New Jim Crow
, and an interactive, social networking website to address issues of white privilege and institutionalized racism. The project is directed to our nation’s students, as well as teachers, parents, and our nation's policy-makers.
Creative partners in the new venture include Vital Pictures (Race: The Power of An Illusion and Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?); Point Made Films (Adopted and Prep School Negro); Trilogy Films (Gideon's Army, Fair Game); Blue Spark Cooperative, a new media company; and The New Press (publisher of The New Jim Crow).
In January 2012 the W. K. Kellogg Foundation
awarded The Calhoun School an initial grant of $250,000 for Deconstructing Race, a three-part youth-based project on issues of white privilege and institutionalized racism. The initial proposal was for a documentary film, curriculum and website. In the time since receiving the grant, Point Made Films began filming and is nearly finished with production of a feature-length documentary film featuring a dozen New York City public and private school students.
Now, this already grand initiative has moved into a very new and far more powerful place. In October 2012, Michelle Alexander, bestselling author of The New Jim Crow,
joined in partnership with The Calhoun School. Two more foundations have come on board with grants towards the expanded collaboration--the Ford Foundation
and the Bertha Foundation
. W.K. Kellogg Foundation has also added to its original grant.
If Deconstructing Race is viewed as a "100 Level" course building the necessary groundwork and introducing K-12 students to the narrative surrounding race, racism, white privilege and the foundational elements of institutionalized racism, The New Jim Crow is a "200 Level" course bringing high school students to the next level of understanding by learning how mass incarceration is a form of institutional and structural racism—a new caste-like system for the 21st century. Like all caste systems, mass incarceration rests on the stubborn denial of our shared humanity.
Our ultimate objective is to expose the myth of color-blindness in a society that, for many, espouses a post-racial mantra. This project will, hopefully, transform conversations about race and racism and begin to aggressively, and very publicly, eradicate the vestiges of white privilege, institutionalized and systemic racism, the school-to-prison pipeline and our nation’s prison industrial complex.
|W.K. Kellogg Foundation|
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, founded in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Based in Battle Creek, Mich., WKKF engages with communities in priority places (Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans), nationally and internationally to create conditions that propel vulnerable children to realize their full potential in school, work and life. To learn more, visit
website or follow WKKF on twitter at@wk_kellogg_fdn.
The Ford Foundation's
mission is to "support visionary leaders and organizations on the frontlines of social change worldwide." Created with gifts and bequests by Edsel and Henry Ford, the foundation is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, the Foundation's goals for more than half a century have been to: Strengthen democratic values; Reduce poverty and injustice; Promote international cooperation; Advance human achievement.
|Bertha Foundation|Bertha Foundation's
mission is to create more progressive and just societies by supporting forms of activism that bring about change. The Foundation "champions those using media, law and enterprise as tools to achieve their vision," and works with "a network of people who we believe can change the world -- activists working with storytellers and lawyers."
|For more information about the Deconstructing Race project, please contact:|
DR Project Director
Director of Communications/PR